From shocked and scared to back at work in weeks

Bill Bate is an artist based in Surrey. Late last year he received a diagnosis that left him feeling shocked and scared. Now, just a few months later, his life is almost completely back to normal. This is thanks to Mr Dimitrios Moschonas, who was trained in robotic surgery through The Urology Foundation. 

Prostate cancer publicity saved my life

“I found out that I had prostate cancer more through accident than anything else. I saw a bit of publicity about it in the news in 2018 and that really put prostate cancer on my radar.

“I’ve also got a mate who works in a car showroom with a lot of other blokes who’d all decided to get PSA tests and it turned out that a few of them had come back positive for prostate cancer. When my mate told me this story over a drink, it was enough to get me down to my GP for a blood test.”

I was shocked and scared

My PSA levels were raised enough to warrant further investigation, but they weren’t particularly high and I had no symptoms, so when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer following an MRI and biopsy, I was pretty shocked.

“It was a bit scary, really. It’s alarming to receive this diagnosis and then depressing to be told that treatment could lead to erectile dysfunction and incontinence. But my surgeon, Mr Dimitrios Moschonas, was very reassuring and told me I’d be fine. My nurse was really positive, as well. I just decided I’d handle it all in stages.

I’m very impressed with the NHS

“I was given the diagnosis in late November 2018 and by 2 January I was on the operating table, ready to undergo robotic surgery. Then, after just a night in hospital, I was out again on 3 January. I’m very impressed with my surgeons. Mr Moschonas was very good and I really felt as though I could trust him.

“My partner was great and came and picked me up from the hospital and took care of me, but I’ve felt relatively good. There have been some problems with incontinence, which are upsetting, but it’s now a couple of months down the line and I don’t need the pads anywhere near as much as I used to; I mostly go to the toilet normally now.

“Erectile dysfunction is still a problem, but, like the continence issues, I’m confident that will come back as the body heals. Problems like this, as well as catheters and anti-clotting injections aren’t much fun but I feel proud that I’ve come through each stage.

“The good thing is that I haven’t had any problems with fatigue and I’ve been able to continue painting uninterrupted. Painting is what I do and so that’s been excellent. In the last week or two I’ve also been getting down to the gym and I’ve been able to do a decent amount of exercise. I’ve only really needed paracetamol to manage the pain.”

“My partner has been excellent, my friends have been so supportive, and my surgeons were just what I needed. There have been some problems following my operation, but if I hadn’t gotten that test, it could have been so much worse.”

Bill was operated on by a surgeon who received robotic surgery training thanks to funding from The Urology Foundation. Because Bill had access to robotic surgery, he was operated on very soon after his diagnosis, he was in hospital for only a night, and he has been able to recover reasonably well. You can help us to fund more surgeons like Dimitrios by donating today.


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