Prostate cancer now affects one in every eight men - killing 10,000 nationwide every year. So it is natural to believe that, should an individual develop any worrying symptoms, then a visit to the doctor’s surgery would be their first priority.
However, in many cases that simply doesn’t happen. Men aren’t known for being forthcoming generally about health matters, and if a potentially embarassing discussion can be put off until another day, then many will choose the easy option, suffering in silence in the hope matters will resolve themselves.
Sheffield patient John Donaldson faced precisely that predicament until he faced up to his situation - he couldn’t complete a relatively short car journey without stopping for a comfort break halfway - and went to see his GP.
This decision may very well have saved his life. Tests indicated John had problems, later confirmed to be prostate cancer. But following a quick surgical procedure, and a year’s spell in recovery, he is now cancer-free and enjoying life again.
It’s sad to consider the regrettable possibility that a sizeable proportion of the 10,000 men who die annually from prostate cancer could survive if only they owned up to their problems earlier.