A Dad from Knowsley who was diagnosed with a prostate cancer despite not having any symptoms is encouraging other men to get checked out.
50 year old Keith Gabbidon-Thompson from Halewood was shocked when a routine check-up at the doctors resulted in a prostate cancer diagnosis.
“In December 2019 at the age of 50 I decided to get an MOT health check. I was feeling healthy and just wanted confirmation that everything was as it should be. The doctor included a PSA (prostate check) test due to my age.
“The results came back with a very slightly above average score for my age. I was confident it was not something serious as I was at such a young age to have prostate cancer so I didn’t worry too much.
“As further investigations continued and cancer had not been ruled out I become more worried. I started to research prostate cancer in more depth and found that 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer and this increases to 1 in 4 in black men. As a black man this heightened my concerns.
“Following my MRI scan in January 2020, which showed shadowing on opposite edges of my prostate I was leaning towards the reality that I could have cancer. I then found out that my father died of prostate cancer. At that point I resigned myself to believe I had cancer.”
Sadly, the biopsy did confirm Keith’s worst fears, he did have cancer. He remembers vividly the day he received the news:
“My heart sank and I immediately thought about my children and what it meant for the future.”
Fortunately, Keith’s cancer was caught early. It also looked like it hadn’t spread so he expected the next stage of treatment would be chemo or radiotherapy.
“Then I had more devastating news. My prostate needed to be removed due to the likelihood of the cancer spreading. I’d only imagined this drastic procedure as the very last resort.”
It was a swift process from Keith’s initial doctor’s appointment in December 2019 to his operation in February 2020.
“I consider myself so lucky that from that chance appointment I am here and alive today and able to watch my children grow up. The doctors, nurses, specialists and surgeons were simply amazing and the support from my family and friends was invaluable and got me through the tough times.”
Keith now needs regular check ups for cancer but feels healthy and is going to the gym and playing sports regularly. He’s even set up his own mobile mentoring business.
He’s keen to raise awareness of prostate cancer and is urging others to get checked out:
“I would encourage men to talk about their health and men over 50 may to discuss with their GP whether to get a PSA test.”
To raise awareness further Keith has arranged a Prostate Cancer Awareness Bike Ride. Keith and his friends will cycle through Knowsley on Saturday 9th October, stopping along the way at every Volair leisure centre where information about prostate cancer will be on display.
Prostate cancer symptoms
The three main risk factors for getting prostate cancer are getting older (it mainly affects men aged 50 or over), having a family history of prostate cancer and being black.
If you have any of the risk factors, or have concerns, speak to your GP. They can talk to you about your risk, and about the tests that are used to diagnose prostate cancer.
Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms. If you do notice changes in the way you urinate, this is more likely to be a sign of a very common non-cancerous problem called an enlarged prostate, or another health problem. But it’s still a good idea to get it checked out.
For more information about prostate cancer visit: https://prostatecanceruk.org/