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David B's story

In the spring of 2012, my GP, responding to my complaint that I was having to visit the loo several times a night, reported that I had a PSA of 38. This led to a prostate biopsy at the hospital. This biopsy revealed that five out of twelve core samples had evidence of cancer, with a Gleason score of eight. The specialist immediately put me on Zoladex hormone treatment and referred me for a bone scan. To my relief, this scan showed that there was no spread of the disease. From then on, I knew that the condition was treatable and was a problem that I could deal with.

 

At that stage, I realised that the process was, to a very great extent, under my own control. Awaiting recommendations from the hospital, I decided to get a second opinion and asked my GP to refer me to the Prostate Centre in London. There, they performed a number of tests and examinations, including an MRI scan and a reassessment of the biopsy samples that they obtained from MK Hospital. Interestingly, their interpretation of the samples resulted in a Gleason Score of seven, which illustrates the fact that the test is somewhat subjective.

 

The oncologist at the Prostate Centre, taking my age (then 73) into account, recommended that I should undertake a course of image-guided radiotherapy, which is available under the NHS in several centres in the UK. Fortunately, there is such a centre at Northampton Hospital.

 

Armed with this information, I returned to the specialist at MK Hospital, and was referred to Northampton, which involved a trip to the centre five afternoons a week for seven and a half weeks. The only uncomfortable part, as far as I was concerned, was that you have to have a full bladder before each session! The radiotherapy staff at Northampton were very professional and always treated me as a person rather than just a case. Indeed, at the end of treatment, in late 2012, I felt genuinely sorry that I would not be seeing them again.

 

I was on Zoladex for a total of two years, finishing in mid 2014. The oncologist at MK Hospital sees me every six months and I am now (Jan 2015) officially in remission.

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