“Don’t bury your head like I did – get tested' says Sheffield man living with inoperable cancer

A Sheffield man, diagnosed with advanced and inoperable prostate cancer, has urged men to get tested for the disease.

Friday, 8th March 2019, 1:19 pm
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 1:23 pm
Peter's appeal to men in Sheffield to 'get tested'
Peter's appeal to men in Sheffield to 'get tested'

It’s been two years since Peter Allen received his own diagnosis, after his wife insisted he go to the doctor after experiencing ongoing symptoms, which included loss of weight, loss of appetite, and severe back pain.

“Like a lot of men, I suppose I ignored the symptoms,” said the lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan.

Following a number of tests and hospital visits, Peter underwent a CT scan and within a matter of days, he received an urgent phone call from the urology department at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, which resulted in an emergency appointment and biopsy. The appointment was just a week after Peter’s 60th birthday.

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“As soon as I entered the consultation room I knew that I was looking at something serious,” he said.

“The consultant was very direct and said he was 99 per cent certain I had advanced prostate cancer. I felt like my world had ended - and yes, I cried. I couldn't take it in and the tests that followed confirmed the diagnosis.

“I remember going home and my wife and I hugged and cried for a while and it was then that we agreed that the fight back was on.”

Peter’s treatment began with hormone implants, designed to lower testosterone levels - on which prostate cancer ‘feeds’. Shortly after, he was referred to Weston Park Hospital, where he received six sessions of chemotherapy.

“My initial PSA was 2609 - that's high and the biopsy showed the cancer had spread outside the prostate, meaning it is inoperable.”

Peter very quickly realised the need for support and friendship in the face of cancer and on the back of regular visits to Weston Park Cancer Information and Support Centre, which is funded by Weston Park Cancer Charity, Peter has gone on the become a ‘cancer buddy’ and helps others living with, and beyond, a cancer diagnosis. 

“My family have been fantastic and I have also accessed a number of vital support services through two local groups, which included Weston Park Cancer Information and Support Centre, whose support has been invaluable.

“Initially, I was given 12-18 months to live. Well, I have beaten that and I intend on being around for a long while yet.

“My life goes on and is full of ups and downs - mainly ups, I have to say and though I fully understand that my cancer is terminal, life goes on and I am determined to fight another day.

“If I can say one thing to the men out there reading my story, it would be ‘get tested’ and please talk to your doctor about prostate cancer.”