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Hopes were raised that a new drug might be on the way to cure prostate cancer. It could be just in time for Stirrer webmaster Andy Goff.

Three years ago I decided it was time I had a check on my cholesterol levels so I pootled down to the local surgery and had some blood sucked.

Cholesterol level was fine and no sign of anything else untoward was revealed. I returned home happy to carry on with my somewhat degenerate life style with impunity. The next day, however, I had a phone call from the surgery asking me to return – they hadn’t realised but they had been missing one test result. PSA, or Prostate specific antigen.

At the surgery once more I was told that I had a slightly raised reading for PSA and it would be a good idea to have a rectal examination. Off with my pants and I was on my side presenting both cheeks to my doctor.

While somewhat uncomfortable it was a procedure that generated sympathy rather than fear – sympathy for the doctor. She assured me she wasn’t fazed and had “been trained” to do this. How nice, I thought.

It turned out that I had a very slightly enlarged prostate. Something to keep an eye on - easy when you have your head up there anyway, like me!

So three years pass and I have just returned from the surgery. I went back to have my blood checked again and once more the prostate reared its ugly head. PSA reading up slightly more than three years ago and this could indicate a pattern. I’ve gone from 5 ng/ml to 6 ng/ml – less than 10 ng/ml is usually due to a benign enlarged prostate.

I will be having a consultation with a Urologist in due course. This will probably involve a further rectal examination, an ultra-sound scan and maybe a sample being taken for biopsy, just to be on the safe side.

As many men have a problem talking about cancer let alone having a rectal examination, from a woman doctor to boot, I thought I’d share the joy of my experience with you in the hope that it might allay fears.

The good news is that my kidneys and liver are fine so my degenerate life-style can continue unabated. Hooray!



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