My name is Neil Taylor and I am the Chief Executive of Leyton Orient Trust and have been working at Leyton Orient since 1998. I have been watching and supporting the O’s since 1991.
In June 2015 I requested a 40+ Health MOT check up with my local GP and asked for the PSA Test.
There were two reasons for this.
Firstly my Father had been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at the age of 68 and had undergone radiotherapy to reduce its impact and lower the PSA which was successfully achieved. His brother had also been diagnosed with it and their mother had died of breast cancer.
There is major evidence that both breast and prostate cancer is
genetically passed on and that if there is strong family history then the
chances of having it are greatly increased.
Secondly through my work at Leyton Orient we had undertaken campaigning work for PCUK including cycling to Amsterdam in 2014 as part of the partnership between the Football League and PCUK and we had also worked closely with Errol McKellar – a high profile
Prostate Cancer survivor and volunteer at the Club- on promoting charity matches and other activities.
I felt that if I was supporting the campaign I should really get checked out.
Everything was fine from my MOT results apart from my PSA which was 3.45, so slightly higher than it should have been for my age.
I had no symptoms and so as a precaution was asked to undertake a further blood test in December 2015 which I did.
I met again with the Doctors once the results had come back. The PSA remained higher than expected but again there were no symptoms or obvious changes.
Given the family history the GP didn't want to take any chances and so I was referred to Whipps Cross Hospital to undergo further assessments. After my initial consultation in late January 2016 I undertook an MRI scan which showed a grey shady area within the prostate. I then undertook a biopsy using the MRI result to locate the best
area. 12 samples were taken and analysed.
In March I met with the Urology Consultant who explained that my Gleeson score was 4 and 3 but that the cancer although seemingly aggressive was small and self-contained within the Prostate. The PSA result had understated the aggressive nature of the cancer and they would need to act relatively quickly. They also calculated that it had been developing for the previous ten years.
The potential options were explained to me including removing the prostate entirely. This was based on my age and overall fitness but also the recognition that treating it would not remove just slow the growth down but that in all likelihood my life expectancy would be reduced to around 60 or so. I was immediately referred to Bart's for further consultations where each procedure was explained and considered in
They reassured me that having the operation would be the most effective way and that I would be able to make a full recovery over about a year or so.
At the time having cancer felt very abstract as there were no symptoms but given the reduction in life expectancy and the options for effective treatment diminishing as I got older I really had no real option.
I was then referred to University College Hospital for a further consultation and agreed to go for the radical prostatectomy.
I undertook the operation in June which fortunately was text book. I was home within 24 hours and began getting back into a normal routine.
One month after the operation I went back to UCH to get the autopsy results on the Prostate. This showed that it had all been contained but the cancer was given a medium aggressive rating. In September I undertook a blood test which showed that my PSA had reduced from 3.45 to 0.01. I was therefore given the all clear.
My focus now is keeping fit and healthy and making the most of every opportunity including talking about my experiences and urging every male to get tested as you never know what is going on inside your body.
I spoke at the Football League Trust Conference in September 2016 about my experiences which was well received and am now focused on working with Errol and PCUK on raising awareness and setting up community testing as there really no excuse for not getting checked out and waiting for the symptoms maybe too late to treat and manage effectively. Currently testing is not mandatory but there is growing evidence that younger men are getting it.