Prostate: small gland, big problem
By Clive Turner
There are around 50,000 men in Cyprus aged between 50 and 60 (according to
the 2011 census) and a sizeable percentage of those will be expat retirees.
And of those a sizeable percentage again will be bothered with prostate
problems – not all of them cancerous but nevertheless worrying and disturbing
and of a nature truly unwise to ignore.
The trouble with prostates is that they are out of sight, out of mind, and easy
to push out of one’s consciousness – most of the time. But, gentlemen, if
pushed aside for too long, prostate worries can become serious and indeed... [
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I talk openly about prostate cancer. In tandem with treating a cystitis, my urologist did a PSA test in 1995 (yes, 23 years ago) with a high value (29, normal max 4). A whole galaxy of other tests followed, confirming the cancer. A transurethral resection (unpleasant) was the method of biopsy. My urologist and my radiotherapist both warned me there was no cure for prostate cancer, only a long term remission. I was put on external radiation therapy (5 days/week, 8 weeks), which was debilitating. After a few months, the PSA was down to 0.5 and it stayed that way for many years.
About eight years ago, the PSA values started rise to above 4 and I was put on an *spam* hormone treatment, which kept it back down to under 1. Then it started to rise again and I started a combined hormone treatment involving medication and a trimestrial injection in the lower abdomen. This was fine for a few years, but the PSA value is now starting to rise again, proving there is no cure, as I was told. As I write, it is OK at about 1.3 but a careful eye is being kept on it.
From experience, I believe that 50-y.o. men should have regular PSA tests to detect early-stage cancers. If you have cancer, undetected, your time may be very severely limited. The earlier the detection, the better and, like me, you may have decades of quality life left, living with a cancer.
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