I was around my mid thirties when Dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. He went on to have radiotherapy, and as far as I am aware, he seemed to be OK from that point of view for a good few years. With hindsight, how do you ask your father if he can, err, you know……
Me “does it all work down below?”
Him “WTF?!” Coughs, splutters and chokes on his tea.
Mum “Would you like another Hobnob?”
Me “Ooh, is that the time….” etc. etc.
Well, I admit that I didn’t ever ask him, or my mother, and as they are both dead, I will never know the ins and outs of their sex life, if you will excuse the pun. And tbh, I am pretty glad to be in the dark. There’s enough emotional debris orbiting around my brain without inventing more ways to tear apart my psyche.
The take home advice that, perhaps selfishly, I did remember, was that I have an increased risk of getting it myself.
- You are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has had it, compared to a man who has no relatives with prostate cancer.
- Your chance of getting prostate cancer may be even greater if your father or brother was under 60 when he was diagnosed, or if you have more than one close relative (father or brother) with prostate cancer.
Dad was in his mid to late fifties, so I tick both boxes. My little brother (14 years younger), may as well come and join me when I have the op, because he is well and truly fucked. Anyway, I digress. With me being a nurse, I did know a little bit about these things, and if I don’t know, I have pretty easy access to pertinent literature. I had read, somewhere, that the only way to screen for prostate cancer was a blood test called a PSA, and the old finger up the bum, to have a feel of the aforementioned gland. Now a finger up the bum may possibly have a time and place, but personally, that time and place was not in my GP’s practice stone cold sober. PSA tests, I read, were notoriously inaccurate and, consequently, the world was full of middle aged men who were inappropriately butchered, and had taken to sourcing Viagra and cock pumps from the dark web, in order to have a good go at the weekend.
My options were therefore limited. I am a man. I had no symptoms, everything worked, and so I took the only option that a bloke of that age could. I completely ignored it and carried on.