On Tuesday 19 November, it was International Men's Day – a day for celebrating men and recognising and raising awareness of men's health. This week colleagues across Co-op Legal Services have been supporting men's health charities; Prostate Cancer UK and Andy's Man Club.
Instead of just recognising the day itself, our colleagues ran a whole week of events. This included running sweepstakes and donning sports shirts on #shirts2work day to raise money for Probate Cancer UK as well as inviting speakers from Andy's Man Club to give talks at each of our offices.
In addition, two of our Probate colleagues who have recently fought their own battles with prostate cancer chose to share their stories. In doing so, they hope to raise awareness of this disease among other men, colleagues, husbands and fathers.
Overcoming Prostate Cancer – Co-op Colleagues Share Their Stories
In its early stages, prostate cancer often displays no symptoms meaning it can be very difficult to detect. In its later stages, symptoms might include:
- Frequent urination
- Blood in urine
- Blood in seminal fluid
- New onset of erectile dysfunction
- Discomfort or pain when sitting
In 2018, two of our Probate colleagues, Chris and Steven, were both diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Here they share their stories.
Chris displayed very few symptoms before he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the symptoms he did display he hadn't connect to cancer. It was a urinary infection that initially caused Chris to seek medical treatment. This infection wasn't linked in any way to his cancer, but it triggered further tests. These tests showed high levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in Chris' blood, which is commonly caused by prostate cancer.
Ultimately Chris was sent for an MRI scan, which resulted in his cancer diagnosis.
Like Chris, Steven didn't have any recognisable symptoms before his diagnosis. He was fit and healthy and he never considered that he could have cancer. But something just didn't feel right.
Steven went through a full suite of tests, which led to a biopsy. Shortly afterwards, he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Steven was just 1 of the 129 men on average to be diagnosed with prostate cancer per day.
"With cancer," Steven explained, "You face nothing more than another objective – you're going to beat it."
There are a number of different treatments available for prostate cancer. Both Chris and Steven opted for a surgical procedure called a prostatectomy, which completely removes the prostate. Thankfully both Chris and Steven are now in recovery.