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Michael - Interview 35

Age at interview: 72
Age at diagnosis: 64
Brief Outline: Michael was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002, and received a prostate operation. Although his PSA is slowly rising, cancer has not had a big impact on his life. His PSA may rise high enough to start having an impact on his life if he needs treatment.
Background: Michael is a semi-retired academic. He is widowed, and has two children. Ethnic Background: White British.

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Michael was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002 during a routine workplace health screening check. He wasn’t experiencing any symptoms at the time, so the diagnosis was a surprise. He was worried and concerned about the cancer for the first year but nowadays lives with it without thinking very much about it. He doesn’t have any ongoing symptoms nowadays of his cancer. 
 
He underwent a prostate operation in 2002 and now receives regular PSA tests every three to four months via his cancer consultant. Michael feels that he has a good relationship with his consultant, and is able to discuss his treatment options and follow-up. He thinks it is important to have his cancer looked after by a cancer specialist rather than a GP. 
 
His PSA levels are increasing slowly and he may need treatment again soon, so having prostate cancer may start having an impact on his life again. 
 
His message to other people is that cancer can be beaten, and to try and stay positive. 
 
 

Michael still sees his cancer consultant eight years on from having prostate cancer. He thinks it...

Michael still sees his cancer consultant eight years on from having prostate cancer. He thinks it...

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And you mentioned that you’re still seeing your consultant on…
 
Yes.
 
…a regular basis then. So what does that involve, going and just having a check-up or…?
 
Yes, it involves having a PSA taken. You go along, it tells you where you are and what the possible diagnosis is, and there is quite a lot of research going on in that area as well.
 
So at any point has he said to you that he’s going to discharge you from his care...
 
No.
 
…and you can have your follow-up from your GP or anything?
 
I think one of the important things is if you’ve got cancer you need to see a cancer specialist. I mean if I’d gone to my GP, let’s assume I’d just taken the result of my examination at work, where the medically qualified person, who was a GP, did a digital examination, which means sticking a finger up your bottom, as you well know, she found nothing.
 
So if I hadn’t had the PSA done then I would, because I showed no symptoms whatsoever, and I think that’s the important part. I showed no symptoms, which is why people normally go to their GP and say, “I’ve got these problems”. And then the GP will say, “Aha, that’s probably, I’ll send you off to a specialist”. So no, I think you need to see a specialist.

 

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