25 years of advances in care


jonathan michelmore on tuf costa rica cycle challenge v2

In 2013, Jonathan Michelmore was diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition where the prostate is enlarged and blocks the flow of urine.

At the age of 52, he was struck with “incredulity that I could have this condition at such an early age.”

Jonathan went to see his urologist, who offered him medication to avoid the invasiveness of surgery. This controlled the condition for a couple of years before he then opted for Urolift surgery, a new approach where small implants stop the prostate tissue blocking the urethra.

“This brought me another couple of years’ relief before the symptoms returned to uncomfortable levels,” says Jonathan. He then had a transurethral resection of the prostate, where some of the prostate is removed using a heated wire inserted through the urethra. While there can be long-lasting side effects from this surgery, thanks to modern techniques Jonathan was able to delay going through this procedure for four years.

Jonathan is now volunteering with TUF to help assess applications we receive for grants.

“I felt extremely grateful to the urology community for the skilled treatment and support shown to me through what were scary and unpleasant times. I wanted to find a way to give back something to the profession in a way that would benefit future patients and, when the opportunity to join the Scientific & Education Committee as a Lay Member arose I applied for it without a moment’s hesitation,” he says.

Andrew Etherington was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and had a radical prostatectomy performed by Professor Roger Kirby. This was done by open surgery, where a large incision is made across the abdomen. Now it is far more commonly done by laparoscopic or robotic surgery, which improves the speed of recovery after the operation.

The speed of recovery is important for many people going through surgery, and Andrew was especially keen as he was due to run the London marathon the next year.

“Roger asked me when I wanted to have the operation, and I said that as long as I’m ready for the marathon next year, we can do it now,” he says.

Fortunately, Andrew was able to get back to training quickly and Roger even joined him in running the marathon.

Andrew quickly became involved in fundraising for urology, saying: “I was in regular contact with Roger and other urologists after that, including cycling in Madagascar and walking in Malawi to raise funds.”