Prostate Cancer


Age at interview: 48
Age at diagnosis: 48

Brief outline: In 2006, following a series of tests, Mike was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In April 2007 he had a radical nerve-sparing robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy.

Background: Mike an NHS manager and registered nurse, married with 3 children. Ethnic background' White British.

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During 2005 and 2006 Mike noticed increased frequency and urgency of urination. In December 2006, after a PSA and a prostate biopsy he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The surgeon said that the cancer was probably confined to the left lobe and had not spread, so there were many treatment options available. However, information about the advantages and disadvantages of different treatments was limited and he spent many hours looking for information on the Internet. He also obtained useful information from the Prostate Cancer Charity. 

Eventually he decided to have a fairly new treatment, a radical nerve-sparing robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. He was admitted to hospital for surgery in April 2007. He had one day in hospital before the operation, during which he had various tests and was asked to sign a consent form. The next day the surgery went well. He returned to the ward with a catheter and a wound drain in situ. He felt relatively little discomfort immediately after the operation and the next day pain was well controlled. He was able to go home the day after the surgery with the catheter in place, and took antibiotics and a laxative. The catheter was removed after 10 days, and he was glad to find that he did not experience serious incontinence (he was soon 98% continent). Mike was well enough to go back to work after a month.  

The surgery seems to have been successful. He is having PSA tests at three monthly intervals for the first pos-operative year. [His PSA is now 'negligible' at 0.1].   

Mike's experience of the NHS was 90% good and 10% capable of improvement. Apart from lack of information, his other criticism of the NHS is that privacy and dignity are not yet embedded at a cultural level as concerns for health professionals.  

The interview was added to the website in 2007.


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