Natasha Woodford

Guy Woodford's Prostate Cancer Fund Raising page

Fundraising for PROSTATE CANCER UK
raised of £350,000 target
by 382 supporters
Participants: Guy and Rosemarie Woodford and their children; Natasha, Jason and Alex.

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RCN 1005541 and in Scotland (SC039332)
We fund research to stop prostate cancer killing men


Initially diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 1997, Guy Woodford explains why his mission in life is to help as many others facing Prostate Cancer today. 

It all started back in 1997 when I went for my annual medical check-up. I've always lived an active lifestyle – I was a keen runner, cricketer and rugby player, having played for Singapore Cricket Club as well as local teams in Hamburg, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Chicago, and the UK, and I still enjoy walking today (more about this later) – so I hadn't anticipated any concerns. However, the results indicated that my PSA result, although within an acceptable range at first glance, had increased from the previous year. My doctor therefore referred me to Prof. Roger Kirby who looked at the results and arranged a biopsy.

To be told that I did in fact have prostate cancer was a shock for both myself and my family. Having never previously had any serious health issues, I was of course upset. I asked myself, why me? What had I done wrong in life? 

It was emotionally challenging to see my wife upset, but she was – and still is – of great support to me as I'm able to talk to her about my situation, which was especially important in those early days. 

Telling my three children, especially my two sons, was tough. Telling them you have cancer, let alone prostate cancer, which is currently the most common cancer in men in the UK, are never words you wish to utter. Both sons, 40 and 50 now have annual PSA tests. 

Two months after my initial diagnosis I found myself in hospital being operated on to remove my prostate, in the hope that the cancer had not spread from there.  Whilst the operation was initially deemed a success, to my dismay, three or so months later, my PSA started to rise again, which then entailed me undergoing a course of radiotherapy.  Again, this seemed to be successful as it brought the number down for a while, however, frustratingly it began to rise again and I was put on a course of hormonal treatment. Initially, I was just on Casodex and then on to  a combination of Zoladex and Casodex.  Since late 2019 I am on a combination of Zoladex and Enzalutamide. these drugs suppress me producing testosterone, which in turn helps to stop the cancer expanding further. 

There are many stigmas around prostate cancer that few people – especially men - talk about. Perhaps it is shame or just male pride, however, I believe it is important to be open as it changes you. It alters how you've led your life and how you view yourself as a person. For me, sexual activity has been zero. You lose your body hair. Then there are the side effects from the hormone treatment; the swelling of your breast tissue essentially means you grow 'boobs' and then there's the weight gain and hot flushes too. The physical side effects aside, as a result of having the various treatments, having prostate cancer has also made me a softer and more patient person – which my family would argue is no bad thing! 

During my treatment I spoke at length with Prof. Roger Kirby and Dr. Heather Payne about ways for me to help manage the cancer - from making alterations to the lifestyle I led and how I could best manage my diet. As individuals, you should understand  PSA, cholesterol, blood pressure numbers and what they mean. Healthy eating is also very important – who would have thought I would be such a fan of tomatoes. 

I now see my GP regularly and in the early days, I always asked my wife to attend the appointments as it was very important for me to have the support.  On one visit to Prof. Roger Kirby, he asked me "why don't you help me?"  Roger used to ride his bike, walk and climb mountains for Prostate Cancer UK's fundraising events.  I told him it was not my scene.  However, five or six years later, after gentle persuasion from Roger, I started to raise funds for the charity by walking annually with 20 friends, all of whom I had met in Hong Kong when I was working there in the 70s. To date, I've been using some of my annual walks with these 20 friends as the support for my fundraising, walking different routes such as the GR5 from Lake Geneva to Nice which took 38 days spread over 3 years. 

Over the years, I have also found other ways to fundraise. This started with the organisation of a lunch with colleagues who I worked with at The Chartered Bank (overseas pensioners). Out of  200 people on the list, 40 - 60 attend. The lunch is now an annual event and also features a raffle, with the proceeds going to Prostate Cancer UK.  Each year around £1,500 is raised at this lunch which is held at The Swan in Fittleworth.  

Additionally, after discussions with Bill Brown – ex MD of Standard Chartered Bank, and a prostate cancer survivor – we agreed to start an annual lunch at The Oriental Club.  As years have gone by, more and more people have attended and last year around 100 people came. £45 from the £100 ticket price goes to Prostate Cancer UK.

To date, I have raised over £302,500  This effort has been recognised by being awarded an MBE in 2013. On top of this, there are odd donations I receive from colleagues and friends on a random basis which are not recorded, but for which I am incredibly grateful. 


Going back to the time when I was diagnosed, when I went into the office to announce my problem I advised everyone whom I worked with who was over 40 to make sure they had a check.  It was the one message I wanted to get out there, and it's the same message I want to spread as far and wide as possible today. For the sake of my sons,  grandson – who was born 7 years ago- and for every man at risk of developing prostate cancer. 

Recently another close friend kept going for a pee and I told him it didn't sound right, so go and see his doctor.  He kept insisting he was alright and I then told him I was not going for beers with him until he had seen his doctor.  Finally, he has been and luckily he does not have prostate cancer, but another problem to deal with.

Reflecting back, I do recall that around six months after initially finding out about the cancer, asking Prof. Kirby, in a humorous way, how long do I have?  There were things that I wanted to do that I had not done so far and of course, I had my family to consider too.  I remember he said "a good 15 years Guy, and I will see you on your 75th birthday!" Well, that has come and gone, I have always been determined to not let having prostate cancer stop me doing the things I have wanted to do and if you work back from 1997 to now, I have done pretty well. 

My present situation is that my PSA is falling following the recent move a new conbo of hormonal medication, to be honest I feel fine, I  accept the various side effects and get on with my life, we shall see what comes next on my journey with prostate cancer. In the meantime, my main aim is to continue to have a positive attitude and importantly, help as many others facing prostate cancer.  I see my mission in life is to raise as much money as I can for Prostate Cancer UK, in order to try and help as many others as possible. Having moved the goal posts several times, my target now stands at £350,000 and I'm confident that with the support of those around me, I will get there!

Thank you so much to all those who have helped me in so many ways. 

About the charity


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RCN 1005541 and in Scotland (SC039332)
Prostate Cancer UK has a simple ambition - to stop men dying from prostate cancer. Through shifting the science over the next 10 years to focus on radical improvements in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and support, we will stop prostate cancer being a killer.

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+ £5,062.75 Gift Aid
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