Two Bristol men are backing plans for a prostate cancer awareness campaign in the city in September after finding they had prostate cancer without any symptoms.
Friends David Miller and Bob Priest have both had operations using robotic surgery in Bristol for prostate cancer and say not enough men are aware of the risks or of the simple tests to check the health of their prostate. The tests involve a blood test to measure the level of protein in the blood produced by the prostate, known as the PSA test and feeling the prostate for any lumps.
In David's case he had no health worries when in 2011 he had an annual health assessment his PSA level was slightly raised but a lump was identified on his prostate. Following further investigations he was diagnosed with prostate cancer which needed to be acted upon.
He said: "I had no symptoms at all, no pain and no idea that I had prostate cancer. I was very lucky that mine was diagnosed early.
"I had robotic surgery to remove my prostate at Southmead Hospital. Following the successful operation I left hospital the next day walking to the car park with minimal pain. The good news was that the tumour was contained within the prostate and had not spread."
David is now involved in the prostate cancer care charity based at Southmead hospital who this year are organising the first ever Bristol District Cancer Awareness Campaign in the first two weeks of September culminating in the Run For The Future event on The Downs on Sunday September 14.
Following encouragement from David, Bob decided to have his prostate checked and found his PSA score was high. He was also diagnosed with prostate cancer and had robotic surgery to remove it. Unfortunatley, it could not be confirmed that Bob's tumour had been fully contained within his prostate and so he is continuing to be monitored by regular PSA checks to confirm no further spread of any residual cancer. Almost a year on, signs have been encouraging.
Bob also had no symptoms and David says this is why an awareness campaign is needed in Bristol. Every man over the age of 50 should get themselves checked out.
He said: "Every year 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 11,000 die. There is no routine screening, so men must get the health of their prostate checked out by their GP. We are lucky in Bristol in that we have a centre of excellence for treatment at the Bristol Urological Institute, which is the envy of the whole country.
Bristol city council are backing the awareness campaign, which will include talks, media activities and posters/leaflets in 700 outlets in the Bristol area to make men more aware of the dangers. The BUI Prostate Cancer Care Charity will benefit from the funds raised by runners in the 5 kilometre Run For The Future event.
Runners can register online at the Run for the Future website. The run is at 12 noon on Sunday September 14 and will be preceded by music and stalls on The Downs. The run has been held every year since 2006 to raise money to fight prostate cancer locally.