From time to time, I read articles in the press about men that have survived prostate cancer, but have had to cope with the devastating side effects of treatment. A recent article that I read was about just such a man that was struggling to cope with the sexual dysfunction that is more often than not the case after prostate surgery and there are even worse side effects, like have to wear a bag or possibly both.
I feel very sad when I read about cases such as the above and I felt it was about time I said something, there’s a very high chance that this kind of suffering is unnecessary. I too have suffered from prostate cancer and so I feel I should be allowed to comment on this, my experience was far more positive.
I’d been in a Brazilian hospital, being reassembled after an horrendous accident in the mountains, while there, they noticed my PSA levels were slightly high and referred me to a Urologist. After the dreaded digital test nothing was found and I had an ultrasound scan, again nothing, by which time my PSA level had returned to normal.
Six months later my PSA level was again slightly high and so I was sent for a biopsy and I did indeed have prostate cancer. Only those that have had this diagnoses can know how terrifying it is.
I went to see a specialist and the good news was: the cancer wasn’t aggressive and it hadn’t left the prostate and spread. The trouble was, in spite of the good news, the cancer needed to be treated as it looked as if it may soon leave the prostate and the normal treatments of either radiation or surgery were the same regardless, it is these treatments that are very often a problem.
I told my doctor that I was a very active person and I didn’t know if I could cope with the side effects of these procedures and so he recommended ultrasound treatment, but my medical insurance wouldn’t cover it and I’d have to pay.
This treatment has been around for around twenty years now and still not many people know about it, it is well proven, non invasive, takes about forty minutes, is very precise and offers by far the best chance of minimising the awful side-effects of the traditional cures.
There’s an interesting video here that describes the procedure perfectly:
“Sonablate HIFU Video”
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation website gives further details.
I am living proof that the claims made for this treatment are true, still relatively few people in the world have been treated this way, but I’m one of them.
After leaving Brazil, none of the doctors and Urologists in the country I now live had heard of the treatment. After six monthly and then annual check ups for a number of years, although by this time they’d heard of this treatment, they were still suspicious up until the time they signed me off. Now I just have an annual PSA check which is still very low.
I can no longer have children, but I have those, at my age it isn’t an issue and the wife seems happy. Apart from this, there have been no other side-effects and the whole episode is something largely forgotten. I’m getting old but I’m still very fit and can walk up a mountain for ten hours with a heavy pack, if I’d had the traditional treatments, I’m sure this wouldn’t be the case.
I have to be careful what I say because I’m not a doctor and I can only speak from personal experience and many patients have far more complicated symptoms, but I’m convinced that many are suffering needlessly.
This ultrasound treatment is getting more widespread with around fifty locations worldwide that are licensed to carry this out.
There is only one small clinic in the UK licensed to carry out ultrasound treatment, the Candover Clinic, but it is a private clinic and you will have to pay although they do take NHS transfers.
What really annoys me, is not that the NHS doesn’t offer this treatment, but if you are being treated by the NHS, they probably won’t even tell you it exists, you won’t be getting the full range of options.
In my case, the treatment cost around eight thousand quid, but the Brazilian Real is much weaker now so maybe it’s cheaper. As an alternative to weeks and months of radiation treatment or perhaps ten days in a hospital and the dire side effects and recovery time these treatments entail this is cheap.
I know to many that this may seem like a lot of money but I can honestly say that it’s worth taking out a small extra mortgage on you house if you have to and also if you have to, shop around overseas.
As for the NHS, surely it must be cheaper to treat someone for prostate cancer almost as a day patient with probably far less aftercare required, you could be out on the golf course a couple of days later. I don’t know the real reason for this, perhaps the NHS and its consultants have too much invested in older treatments in terms of equipment and training, however they never seem to be stuck for our money when it comes to treating untold numbers of health tourists and paying for uncontrolled immigration.
I wrote this article, not because I’m trying to be a salesman for this treatment, but because every time I read about the suffering of men with this cancer problem, my heart goes out to them and I just want them to have the same positive experience that I did. I would say to you all, don’t rely on the NHS, do some research and make sure you really do have all the options.
UKIP I feel, should be speaking out loudly about this type of health problem, with so many people suffering needless misery, I’m very sure this will be well received.
I hope I’ve been of some help.