Men take more care of their cars than they do their own bodies. That’s according to prostate cancer survivor turned charity campaigner David Miller from Bristol who has taken to the road to spread the word about the dangers of prostate cancer.
David was diagnosed with prostate cancer as a fit and healthy 59-year-old following a routine medical health assessment. If he hadn’t had the assessment it’s possible his ‘intermediate’ cancer could have taken a more aggressive turn spreading outside the prostate gland. Without prompt diagnosis and immediate and effective treatment, it could have killed him as it does 11,000 other men every single year.
David, now fully recovered and fighting fit, campaigns on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Appeal based at Southmead Hospital to raise awareness of the disease and encourage men to take proper precautions with something they take for granted – their health.
He said: “Men do not talk about their health particularly if it’s about issues below the belt. They are often reluctant to visit their GP and hence suffer in silence and defer any early diagnosis.”
David has now teamed up with the consultants at The Bristol Urological Institute to tour businesses large and small to raise awareness of prostate cancer amongst their staff. They stress the need for open debate about prostate problems and raise awareness of the disease which is the most common cancer in men.
David said: “I had none of the symptoms associated with the disease and, like the majority of males, had very little knowledge of the prostate or of prostate cancer.”
In fact prostate problems fall into three main categories, benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis and the most serious of all – prostate cancer. The majority of men with prostate cancer do not experience symptoms. It is diagnosed with a PSA blood test, which is available from your GP after an appropriate assessment.
There are several methods used to treat prostate cancer. Surgical removal is performed at The Bristol Urological Institute using the Da Vinci robot. This keyhole surgery associated with less blood loss, less pain and faster recovery times.
David said: “Like so many men I was fortunate that Southmead hospital has the expertise to conduct prostate surgery robotically using the Da Vinci robot. The operation took three and half hours and I left hospital the next day, walked to the car park and had minimal pain following surgery. I continued to walk each day and returned to work after six weeks recovery.”
Back to fitness following his all too close encounter with prostate cancer, David said it was important to raise awareness to ensure men take action to check the health of their prostate.
David is currently working with the Southmead Hospital Prostate Cancer Appeal to promote the Big Run for the Future taking place on the Durdham Downs on 8 September. PSA tests will be carried out on the day by Spire Hospital.
The 5k family fun run will raise money for the prostate cancer appeal and families are being encouraged to take part in the robot themed fancy dress and take advantage of the entertainment on offer.
Register for Run for the Future here.