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Interview 26

Age at interview: 61
Brief Outline: When in Canada he had regular health checks, so on return he asked his GP for yearly digital rectal examinations. In 2004 his GP said that a blood test would be a better way of checking for prostate cancer. His PSA test was "normal".
Background: Occupation' Retired, Sales and marketing. Marital status' single. Ethnic backround' White British.

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He had yearly digital rectal examinations when he lived in Canada. Recently his GP suggested a...

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He had yearly digital rectal examinations when he lived in Canada. Recently his GP suggested a...

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I first had a PSA blood test about a year ago. I went in as a matter of occasional course to have my prostate checked at my local health centre and the GP who I see there is the senior partner, suggested that rather than having an internal examination that I have the blood test, the PSA blood test which he said basically would give a fairly accurate result, from what I remember, although it wasn't an absolute 100% guarantee that the result would mean that I did not have prostate cancer but it would give a pretty good indication and would be better than having an internal examination where he would use his finger. So I said yeah okay fine. 

Did you have any symptoms at all?

No I didn't have any symptoms no.

You just decided you wanted to have your prostate checked?

Yeah when I reached aged 30, when I was in Canada, my local GP there, or the physician, he suggested that people over 30, men over 30, well it would be men really, should have a prostate check and I used to have one each year. I'd go in for a sort of annual physical check-up based on the fact that prevention was a good idea.

And that was digital rectal examining, it wasn't a PSA test in Canada at the time?

No, no it was digital and they say you know prevention is better than having to have a cure and I agreed with that and so each year while I was still in Canada I'd have a digital check and I had no problems, no symptoms but I'd rather catch it before symptoms arose yeah which I think is a good idea. And I think the very fact of having a general sort of medical MOT which is what I had and what he suggested I'd just go in each year and he checked my blood pressure etc etc and just cover off all the basics to try and catch them before symptoms occurred.

There's no prostate cancer in the family?

I don't think so.

No.

I mean I don't really know but my father didn't have it and I'm pretty sure my mother didn't [laughs].

You said, was it 20 years ago you were in Canada and you were having regular check-ups?

Yes.

Yes so what's suddenly triggered your request only last year, in 2004, to ask your GP for a prostate check up?

I'd had prostate check ups with my GP probably in 2003, 2002 may be 2001 but they were all digital.

Was that a different GP?

Same GP.

Oh I see.

Yeah and he then said, 'Well we don't need a digital this time, we have a blood test available.'

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