My surgeon removed my prostate cancer just before it started to kill me

Steve Keable is a semi-retired husband, father, and grandfather. Last year he had a routine PSA test that revealed he had an aggressive prostate cancer. Thanks to the efforts of his TUF-trained surgeon, Mr Dimitrios Moschanos, Steve’s cancer was removed just before it spread beyond his prostate, at which point his diagnosis might well have become terminal.

If I hadn’t had that test, it would have become a question of ‘how long do I have?’

I didn’t have any real symptoms of prostate cancer. My bladder wasn’t holding itself perfectly, but that’s not uncommon in a man my age (60) and so there was nothing to make me worry at all.

“I was taking part in a general MOT at the GP when I asked if there were any other tests I should be doing. So they set me up with PSA test, to check for prostate cancer. About a week later they called me back and said my PSA score was 15. After a second test (with an even higher score) it was decided that I needed to be referred to a urologist.

“After a few more tests it transpired that I had a very aggressive prostate cancer. I was told it was about a 9 out of 10 in terms of aggressiveness. It was all a big shock, but I was feeling pretty stoical about it all. My wife had had breast cancer twice already, so we’d crossed this bridge before.”

We knew immediately what the right treatment options was: robotics

“When we found out that my cancer was so aggressive, we decided that robotic surgery was the way forward pretty quickly. We spoke to Mr Moschanos and he walked us through the details of robotic surgery, explaining that the side effects are less serious than open surgery, and that the operation, if a success, would completely remove the cancer from my body.

“We were due to meet a radiologist to discuss radiology as a treatment, but we knew that getting the cancer removed completely was the best option. We knew that there could be side effects from the surgery, but that was always better than the alternative, which could prove to be deadly.”

The speed of my doctors saved my life

“We told the hospital that’s what we wanted and the next day they called to ask if I was available to have the surgery the following day. The turnaround was incredibly fast!

“So I went for surgery the following day and after a 6 hour operation they were able to remove the cancer completely. Afterwards they told me that the cancer had been very close to spreading outside the prostate. If that had happened, it would have become far harder to treat and it might well have killed me. I was very lucky to have had surgery as quickly as I did.”

Life after surgery isn’t without complications, but crucially, it’s still life

“I had some trouble with my catheter after the surgery. I was really uncomfortable within the first week and had to go to A&E to have it removed. I also had some pretty enormous swelling in my testicles. That was alarming and uncomfortable for a while until it calmed down.

“I’ve continued to have some problems with my bladder and with erectile dysfunction, but the bladder is getting better and I’ve been referred for treatment for my ED.

“I still get a little fatigued from time to time, but I can feel myself getting stronger all the time. There have been some side effects from my treatment, for sure, but when I know what the alternative was, I’d make the same decision again.

“My treatment was fantastic and, six months after my first diagnosis, it feels almost as though it didn’t happen at all. My life went from normal to ridiculous and back to normal again within about 8 weeks!

“Now I’m back doing all the things I love, from gardening to lawn bowls and even a bit of cycling again. If I hadn’t had that first PSA test, and if I hadn’t received such fast treatment, it could have been very different.”

Robotic surgery means that patients need to stay in hospital for far less time after their surgery, which frees up bed spaces and allows patients to be treated faster than ever before. That speed in treatment was crucial for Steve, whose cancer nearly spread. Because he was treated so quickly by an expertly-trained TUF surgeon, he’s now fighting fit again.

If you would like to help us train more robotic surgeons like Dimitrios, you can donate today and we’ll improve treatment times and reduce post-operative side effects together.


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