Brian Perry

Some 15 years ago I had a minor ailment with my 'waterworks'. What little knowledge I had at the time led me to believe I had a prostate problem.  Eventually I had a PSA test which showed 'normal'. I thought no more about this until in 2011 when I began to have more difficulty 'holding on'; in particular whilst cycling in a French Pyrenean sportive I was embarrassed not reach the 'pissoir' in time - it was at the top of a mountain. I realised then that my prostate was probably the source of the problem.

I made an appointment with my doctor. First the DRE to followed by PSA test sample. The PSA results this time were significantly more worrying and I was sent to the Churchill for a biopsy and flow test. The biopsy indicated cancer, and after discussing the options Rose Southby in the Urology Department I elected to have a radical robotic prostatectomy. The operation proved not too uncomfortable and seven weeks later I was pleased to complete a 200km audax cycling event around Oxfordshire with no discomfort. I now have an annual PSA test.

Looking back I can see that I had little knowledge of illness in my family which might have increased my likelihood of prostate cancer. The day before my 2011 PSA test I happened to have a full day of particularly strenuous cycling, which is not recommended in current guidance. Immediately before and after my operation I began to learn more about the disease and talked about it with my cycling friends. I was quite surprised that several of them had very poor knowledge of the prostate and its health but at least two went on to get checked out.