My job this week has brought me into contact with an inspirational man called Nigel Lewis-Baker.
Nigel has been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and yet he’s raising money for research by walking from John O’Groats to Land’s End with his friends, father and daughter Alan and Charlie Carr, as part of their Prostate Project Love Train!
I went along with my husband, John, to meet them at the start of their day as they prepared to walk through Denshaw and Oldham.
The sheer scale of the challenge Alan, Charlotte and Nigel have taken on is inspiring and it’s because of people like them, raising money for research, that the fight against prostate cancer has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years.
Nigel told me it’s important for men over fifty years old to get their PSA* checked. Caught early men have a better than 80% chance of a complete cure. Caught late the prognosis is very poor. He also told me that prostate cancer is ‘very treatable’ if detected early but said that ‘men aren’t very good at looking after themselves when it comes to their health’.
The money raised by the Love Train will go towards innovative research to increase the sensitivity of diagnostic tests.
The symptoms of both benign enlargement of the prostate gland and malignant tumours (cancer) are similar and can include any of the following:
- difficulty passing urine
- passing urine more frequently than usual, especially at night
- pain when passing urine
- blood in the urine (this is not common).
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK with 37,000 men diagnosed every year and sadly an average of 10,200 die annually – which is one every 50 mins and more than women dying of breast cancer.
Please help the Love Train by donating at: www.justgiving.com/lovetrainappeal and follow the walk at: www.lovetrain.org.uk
* Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by prostate cancer cells. A blood test, the PSA test, measures the level of PSA and may help to detect early prostate cancer.