Prostate Cancer: The Bullet I Dodged

In October 2018 Bryan, a 63 year old Chartered Surveyor, married for 41 years, was perfectly happy and healthy, enjoying his career and life in the North West of England. Whilst undergoing a health check-up, a random PSA test was carried out. 12 years previously he’d had a test through his GP which was normal. The results revealed ‘red flag’.

Bryan’s GP immediately referred him to Mr. Robin Weston, a urological surgeon, trained in robotic surgery by The Urology Foundation. After various tests and scans, prostate cancer was diagnosed. Having reviewed the options along with second opinions, Bryan decided to opt for the surgical route, under the very experienced Mr. Weston. Results later showed that his prostate had a ‘time bomb’, which was then removed by Mr. Weston. Had this been left much longer it would have spread outside the prostate.   

Prostate cancer with no adverse symptoms

“My brother who is 12 years older than me was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 12 months ago, but there wasn’t really any other history of cancer in my family. Because I didn’t have any adverse symptoms I didn’t expect anything serious, but it seemed prudent to get a PSA test.

“My PSA was very elevated. It was explained by my GP that this ‘red flag’ high reading could have a number of causes, including cancer. I wanted urgent clarification. I was then referred to Mr. Weston, who promptly arranged for an MRI and bone scan, as well as carrying out biopsies. Armed with the biopsy results, Mr Weston called and asked to see me within a couple of days. I then realised that there was a problem.

“Mr Weston told me after the biopsy results that prostate cancer had been found, with a potentially aggressive form of cancer within one location of the prostate. It was shattering news. I was 63 and kept good care of myself and suddenly I seemed to be in a potentially life threatening situation.”

Robotic surgery solved the problem for me

“When I received the diagnosis, I also talked to doctors about radiotherapy and other treatment options, but the robotic surgery was always the preferred option for me. I just wanted the situation to be resolved and for the cancer to be removed.

“It helped that I was in the hands of such a well-trained surgeon. I kept hearing how lucky I was to be receiving treatment from someone as proficient as Mr Weston. One person was telling me how, if you want to get a golf ball 300+ yards down a fairway, you get a professional golfer to do it. Robotic surgery is no different because you want someone who has substantial experience along with excellent training. Mr Weston was that person for me.

“I have nothing but praise for Mr. Weston’s skills & professionalism. I’ve had no problem with post-operative continence issues whatsoever, and am receiving excellent and positive on-going therapy for other side effects to the surgery. Although I’ve experienced some fatigue afterwards, it’s not been as bad as it could have been. All surgical scars virtually healed within 8 weeks of the operation.

“Because of a perceived pre operation risk, a substantial number of lymph nodes were also removed during the operation. Significantly, the pathological analysis of these all proved negative; the cancer had not spread.  

I feel privileged to have had such a high quality surgeon and to have come through such a big operation feeling so good. Mr Weston’s surgical skills are, in my opinion, second to none!”

It could have been so much worse

Bryan’s prostate cancer proved to be a very aggressive form of cancer. If that hadn’t been caught when it was, it could have gotten very nasty for him. It had luckily been confirmed as a Stage 2 cancer, confined to the prostate. If the aggressive cancer had been allowed to spread outside the prostate, the robotic operation that Mr Weston performed wouldn’t have been able to remove all the cancer. Bryan’s chances of survival would have fallen rapidly.

Bryan’s story is a reminder for all men to take a PSA test every year after the age of 50. Although Bryan had a test in his early 50s, it came back fine. By his early 60s, Bryan had a dangerous cancer that needed solving.

“I feel very lucky, not just to have had an excellent surgeon who performed such a good operation, but to have dodged the cancer. My PSA 2 months after surgery was nil, and this will continue to be monitored over the coming years.”

You can help us train more world-leading surgeons like Mr Robin Weston by donating today. Together we can transform more lives like Bryan’s.


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