These men are so grateful they were made aware of their risk of prostate cancer. Now they’re sharing their stories to pass on knowledge that can save lives, and they want you to join them.
Because the pandemic has made it harder for men to access a GP, it’s likely that thousands more cases of prostate cancer have gone undetected. This September, we’re asking for your help to find men at risk of prostate cancer. The four men below show us why it's so important that we do.
Engineer Andre had no idea that family history of prostate cancer was a risk factor, or that early stage prostate cancer often had no symptoms. That was until he met Jim, a Prostate Cancer UK volunteer who spoke at his workplace, Costain in 2018. After Jim’s inspirational talk Andre was visiting the doctor about something else. He asked about a PSA blood test and mentioned his father and grandfather had prostate cancer. This led to tests and an mpMRI scan; a prostate cancer diagnosis and a prostatectomy. The surgery went well, as did his recovery. Two years on, Andre sent Jim a letter, here's an excerpt:
"I think my outlook on life has changed slightly. Some things which seemed really important aren’t so much, when ultimately being healthy is the most important thing. I had no reason to believe I had anything wrong when I first asked my GP about a PSA test. I know at the age of 47 if I hadn’t been to your talk in March 2018 where you told me about the risks, I would never have followed it up.
Thank you Jim, I’m living proof that telling people about prostate cancer and their risk makes such a difference. It’s why I want to help save the lives of other men like you helped to save mine.
“It was a year of luck and coincidence, followed by pain and fear. All off the back of a chance opportunity to go to an award ceremony."— Prostate Cancer UK (@ProstateUK) September 15, 2020
EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami shares his story about why his dad went to the doctors. pic.twitter.com/d6xj99HCuV
Eastenders star Davood Ghadami knows the risk factors for prostate cancer, after a chance encounter at an awards evening triggered a chain of events that saved his dad’s life. Davood presented an award to Prostate Cancer UK volunteer and East End mechanic, Errol McKellar at the televised NHS Heroes Awards. Davood’s Dad Mo was watching from home.
“My dad found out he was more at risk as a man over 50 after watching me on TV presenting an award to Errol. He went to see his GP and we were stunned when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was a year of luck and coincidence, followed by pain and fear but we’re grateful it was caught early and he was successfully treated. We need more men to speak to their GPs about their risk.”
Karl Tye, 62, is a Procurement Officer at EDF. Last year, he went to the doctor for an unrelated issue and discovered he had prostate cancer. Karl has worked with our partners EDF for fifteen years and was impressed with their support during such a difficult time. By sharing his story at work, he’s helping out his colleagues too.
“I never thought about prostate cancer prior to my diagnosis. When I did find out, I was so naïve and didn't know what was coming. I spoke to a colleague at work about my own experience and he then went on to speak to his GP and discovered he had prostate cancer too. If I save one life, that’s enough. I also have two sons, one is 40 and the other is 36. I’ve spoken to them about their increased risk. The more men that know about prostate cancer and their risks the better. I encourage everyone to take Prostate Cancer UK’s risk checker to find out more.”
”Bill Turnbull saved my life”, said 61-year-old Melvyn Ratcliffe. Melvyn was suffering with a dull ache he put down to work, but was encouraged to speak to his doctor after watching the much-loved BBC presenter share his prostate cancer story. Melvyn’s cancer was diagnosed in the nick of time, his surgeon suggested another month or two would have led to a different story.
“I would say without a doubt Bill saved my life. If I hadn’t been prompted to go to the doctor, I might have found out further down the line when nothing could’ve been done for me.”