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Interview 27

Age at interview: 58
Age at diagnosis: 57
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with prostate cancer 1999, hormone treatment and external beam radiation for bone metasteses.
Background:

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Considers that there is a substantial genetic component.

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Considers that there is a substantial genetic component.

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I'm quite confident that there is a very substantial genetic component I really do think that - yeah I think so. I mean one of the things that's been a bit of a consolation to me is that I just feel very lucky to be alive because my father died at 47 and I saw him go down and I'm a lot older than he was and I've had a chance to see my son grow up and things like that.

 

Comments that although the biopsy is unpleasant it is over with very quickly.

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Comments that although the biopsy is unpleasant it is over with very quickly.

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Can you explain a little bit more about the biopsy, what was that like please?

The biopsy I went down the road and it was done you know sort of the next day, everything was done very fast. The PSA test before I had the results of the PSA test the biopsy, I didn't like it, it's a thoroughly unpleasant business but it's quick and sharp and it doesn't last long and I think that my tolerance for that sort of test whatever you'd like to call it is fairly good er judging from the way doctors have responded. I think some people don't like it, it's not something I liked.

 

Advises others to have regular PSA tests even if not endorsed by Government.

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Advises others to have regular PSA tests even if not endorsed by Government.

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I believe that the PSA test, for all its weaknesses and I understand those, it is something which you know it's outrageous to suggest to people, to men they shouldn't have one. That's my personal view and I think the Government is completely wrong and I think, I'm afraid to say, a lot of it is to do with trying to sort of save resources.

That's one message I would give. Second message is if they're offering you the choice of whether to have a PSA or not I would say yes and I would say to people who you know had not had a PSA but who just feel healthy, I would say have a regular PSA. I don't believe in, I don't believe in Government policy, I think it's wrong, I think men have a right to know even if it's difficult to interpret the results, I think you have the right to know and you should know, and if the Government is not going to do it for you, which they're probably not, then you should do it for yourself.

 

Considers it easier to find information via the Internet rather than through support groups.

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Considers it easier to find information via the Internet rather than through support groups.

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I thought the Internet was great but I didn't find that the various prostate support groups were terribly useful. One of the reasons for that is I'm sort of an impatient person, every time I rang them up they said, 'You're in a queue', or that, 'All our people are busy right now', and this sort of stuff. So I just found I never - then or since - have had any contact with the prostate charities. I've nothing against them, I support them in principle totally but for me it was just a lot easier to go on the Internet.

 

Explains why there were limited options for someone with advanced prostate cancer.

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Explains why there were limited options for someone with advanced prostate cancer.

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Well at the initial stage of course I had no real, there were no treatment options for someone with advanced prostate cancer at that sort of stage. It is essentially, or as far as I was aware at the time, I should say it was hormone treatment or nothing. There was no operation you can do, which is you know, I think there was a complete consensus on that, as far as I'm aware, for someone whose cancer has spread beyond the prostate. I think the situation would've been, I know it would've been far, far more difficult if it hadn't spread beyond the prostate, it would've also been better but the decision process would've been, knowing what I now know, very, very difficult and I had a friend the other day who was diagnosed with just that and I really didn't know what to say to him.

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