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Grandfather, 62, on the early warning sign of cancer

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“When I kept getting up in the night to go to the toilet, it was only my wife, Shawleen, who was concerned,” John told Express.co.uk. “I didn’t think it was anything serious and just thought that it was a sign of getting older.” Encouraged by Shawleen, 61, to see the doctor in 2019, John booked an appointment and later found out he had prostate cancer.

With no other symptoms coming to mind, a cancer diagnosis wasn’t what he had expected.

In the lead-up to the diagnosis, John had to undergo tests, but he took on a “practical” attitude towards the situation.

“I knew that whatever testing that needed to be done was for a good reason,” he said.

“Other cancer survivors who have been through the same testing as me have said that they found the testing a bit intrusive, but I didn’t feel like that at all.”

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When the bombshell news broke, John told Shawleen that he was determined to fight the disease to see his granddaughters grow up.

In June 2019, John underwent life-saving surgery to have the tumour removed.

Following the procedure, he received daily injections – for four weeks – to ensure he didn’t get any infections.

“My bladder was also weak following the surgery, so I had to have a catheter for about 10 days to reduce the leakage,” he added.

“I’m so glad my wife encouraged me to get help as it saved my life,” said John.

Since his treatment for cancer, John has “problems with incontinence and erectile dysfunction”.

John said: “I’m due to have surgery soon which will hopefully help with the incontinence.”

Despite his lingering health issues, John “can’t encourage people enough to contact their GP practice if something in their body doesn’t feel right”.

Symptoms of prostate cancer:

  • Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • Needing to rush to the toilet
  • Difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • Straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • Weak flow
  • Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
  • Blood in urine or blood in semen.

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He said: “Catching cancer early can make it more treatable, and I’m so glad my wife encouraged me to get help as it saved my life.”

John is supporting NHS England’s Help Us, Help You campaign, which is encouraging people who are experiencing potential signs of cancer to come forward to their GP.

If it is cancer, finding it early means it’s more treatable and improves the chance of a full recovery.

John is now proud to say that he is free from cancer and has had a positive experience throughout.

He is also thankful to his wife, Shawleen, who he says has been his rock by his side.

Revealing data from Censuswide 2022 found that over 53 percent of respondents worry about cancer every few months or more.

Yet, even if symptoms are present, the most common reason for not booking a doctor’s appointment sooner is the fear of finding out bad news and hoping that the symptoms would go away on their own.

While going to the doctor’s can be worrisome, it’s better to get checked out sooner rather than later.

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