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Interview 21

Age at interview: 77
Age at diagnosis: 75
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with prostate cancer 1998. TURP in 1982, watchful waiting.
Background:

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Describes the slight discomfort experienced during the biopsy.

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Describes the slight discomfort experienced during the biopsy.

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Do you mind describing how the biopsy was,for other people?

No it was conducted by the nurse who did the scans on me, the smaller scans, not the big body one and she said 'Well,' she said 'This may, you may feel a sensation here,' she said 'we are going to like prick you,' and she explained taking out a little core. She said 'I'll explain exactly what it is,' she said, and I forget to be honest how many places, it may be have been 3 or it may have been 6, something like that. And yes I did feel like a puncture but very, very quick, a slight discomfort and they also gave me some antibiotic tablets to take because they said because we have punctured it, there will be some bleeding, don't worry, that's what it is, it's the puncture, it may last for 2 or 3 days.

So that wasn't too uncomfortable?

Oh no, no, no I was, it was no worse than a wasp sting or something like that, no agony, no writhing around.
 

 

Comments on how he first found traces of blood in his urine.

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Comments on how he first found traces of blood in his urine.

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Perhaps we could start, I'd like to ask you how you first discovered that you had a problem at all, or what made you seek help?

Well it first occurred one evening just before I was going to bed. I went to pass water and I noticed a trace of blood in it, not much. I thought well that's very odd, but I thought it would pass and then later, just before actually going to bed I went to the toilet again and there again was this trace of blood.

How long ago was this?

Two years ago, 2 years, I think it was in the April of 98. I thought, well I should see my doctor. He was reassuring, very good, he said 'Oh I'll make some notes,' and he said 'there will be some tests I would like to make,' he said 'it could be many things,' and he said 'I don't wish you to be alarmed.' And so that set it off from there.
 

 

Concluded watchful waiting was more suitable for him, considering the problems with radiotherapy.

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Concluded watchful waiting was more suitable for him, considering the problems with radiotherapy.

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But the radiologist was extremely good. He outlined the options, he said 'Surgery,' he said 'well your consultant doesn't think that would be an option,' he says 'now with the radiology,' he pointed out the side-effects, loss of potency and saying well there were ways of still enjoying your sex life and all the rest of it you know and but the thing that really, what worried me was the prospect of sort of double incontinence. Now that really set me back a bit you know and also this may seem trivial but this treatment would have to be conducted in Y Town. Now I thought it was, I was so na've I just thought it would be a one visit. Oh no it's going to be half dozen visits. I thought how the devil am I going to get to that town and back you know, you can't, the wife does drive but she only drives up to the village shop and back you know I thought get up early in a morning and sort of with frequency, I'm not worried about the driving but with frequency and problems it's a very great worry. Anyway we discussed it at length with the doctor and he said 'Well,' he said 'Or you can just wait,' I said 'Well if I just wait I'm getting older, would that option still be valid or available to me? 'Oh yes,' he said 'yes,' he said. 'Look,' he said 'here's my home telephone number,' he said 'any time,' he says 'You want me to take action,' he said 'ring me up'. 

That's nice.

Oh I thought it was wonderful. I think he was conscious possibly that there had been such delays before because of clerical problems. So I thanked him, I thought well I can't, I'll wait because that was one of the options that they gave on the video.

Did they, did he give you the option of being collected in a hospital car if you did decide on the radiotherapy?

No that wasn't given as an option.

So the transport was one of the reasons why you decided not to go for radiotherapy and the worry about the incontinence?

Well, yes 

To what extent do you think the video helped you make a decision?

Yes it did, it did make a serious contribution. I think it was, had an American bias and so they're much more advanced in their, or seemingly advanced in their treatments and their surveys, it gave, you were loaded with statistics and they were not really pertinent to the patients in the UK because the back up treatment and the facilities in the States possibly were sort of much better than here. But nevertheless the options that were available and so on did need clarifying being on a video you could switch off if you were feeling, well I've had enough of this, and you could go over it again, so yes that was quite, quite valuable.

And one of the options was watchful waiting?

Watchful waiting, yes, oh yes very much and I thought well, so that was the

Had the surgeon and the radiologist also mentioned the option of doing nothing, of watchful waiting?

Oh yes the radiologist certainly he said, he said 'I just have not got a crystal ball,' he said 'I'll look into it,' he said 'but I can't really advise you,' he said 'if you go down that road of having the radiology treatment,' he said 'all I can point out,' he said 'These are the possible side-effects.' He said 'You may not experience any of them.' And so I thought well there's still this worry over double incontinence, traveling and so on, I thought well I'll wait another 3 months.
 

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