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Prostate cancer - know the signs and visit a GP

By Victoria O'Hara

Mervyn Bryans (61), a civil servant from Belfast, was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago after a routine check-up.

I had no real symptoms. I was just aware of some minor changes and that there was a gene in my family.

My grandfather had prostate cancer, but back then it was never really talked about openly. Years ago - even 30 years ago - people really didn't talk about it.

When I visited him in hospital I was about 17. I asked him what was wrong and he just said it was problems with his waterworks.

But that has now changed, and people are more aware of symptoms and talk about it. This kind of research does give them hope and understanding... a light at the end of the tunnel.

It isn't an old man's disease any more and because a diagnosis can be made earlier, the prognosis can be better.

I was diagnosed four years ago and had treatment three years ago. Luckily, they got it in time.

There had to be a decision as to how they would treat it. There was an option to inject the prostate and access it in the cancer centre at the City Hospital.

The implant lasts 12 months. It prevents you from having to go for chemotherapy. I'm just getting on with my life now.

Every three months I do a PSA test, which can detect the early signs of an enlarged prostate.

All men should keep aware of symptoms and get checked. Women have to take an active role too. Everyone has a brother, father, uncle, grandfather or partner. If they notice any changes, they can help.

Belfast Telegraph


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