Late last year, I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. I know, it’s a shock, eh? All those years of clean living, exercise, decent diet - turns out that they don’t keep every demon at bay. I’ve cycled a lot so only a few months ago, this Tour stage would have been just an every day ride for me. Whilst I have few symptoms from the cancer, its treatment is unpleasant. Chemo must be challenging to be effective, and has transformed the Tour ride into the best sort of test - one which I’m not sure of completing. Wish me luck.
Prostate cancer is a vibrant area of research and ever more treatments are available at all stages of the disease. I am already benefiting from this research. For example only a few years ago my treatment at this stage would not have included chemotherapy. Clinical trials involving selfless men showed that giving Chemo earlier rather than later improves people’s prognoses. I benefit from their work and now participate in a clinical trial to help continue it. So I care about raising some money for research and know that this charity will invest our money wisely.
But here’s the kicker: with my relatively late diagnosis, several established and developing treatments were not even on the table. Too late. Opportunity gone. That’s why I care even more about raising awareness. Early presentation enables so many more treatment options. Bluntly, awareness means people live longer.
I’ve had astonishing care already. Responsive, caring, prompt and thorough. But our wonderful health service can only treat people who walk through the door. So please take a moment to watch out for someone who means a lot to you - dad, brother, partner, uncle, friend, colleague, the person sitting next to you, even yourself. . . . please care about them enough to have them invest a couple of minutes reading this information from Prostate Cancer UK. Nagging, bribery, bullying, cajoling..... one of those should work. Please give it a go.
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