Prostate Cancer UK supporter, Phil Kissi MBE, explains why a thirty-second online risk checker could save your life.
When Phil Kissi was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006, the news came as a complete shock. He had only decided to visit his GP after watching a TV programme that mentioned African and Caribbean men were at higher risk of the disease. In fact, 1 in 4 black men in the UK will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. This is double the risk faced by all men, which is 1 in 8. Men over 50 or with a family history of the disease are also at increased risk of prostate cancer.
“I didn’t have any symptoms, but I knew a couple of tests were a bit concerning,” said Phil. “I’d been on Prostate Cancer UK’s website and knew I could ask for a biopsy, so I did, and it turned out I had early stage, aggressive prostate cancer.”
Fortunately for Phil, his cancer was caught early and he was able to have robotic surgery to remove the prostate. He was back at work four weeks later. Phil shudders to think what might have happened had he not watched that TV programme and learnt about his risk.
“It’s terrifying to think that I could so easily have carried on without knowing anything about prostate cancer, even though it’s now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK,” he said. “Luckily my GP was very supportive when I raised my concerns with him and I caught the cancer in time to have successful treatment, but it saddens me to think that others may not have this chance.”
More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 129 men every day. Earlier this year, it overtook breast cancer to become the commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, largely thanks to greater awareness of the disease in recent years.
Detecting prostate cancer earlier saves lives, but unfortunately, a lot of men still don’t know how at risk they are, especially in black communities. That’s why Prostate Cancer UK have launched a thirty-second online risk checker – to help men understand their risk of prostate cancer and what they should do next.
It’s so important that men are aware of their risk, because like Phil, most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any symptoms. If you’re at higher risk because you’re black, over 50 or have a dad or brother with prostate cancer, you may want to speak to your GP about the pros and cons of a PSA blood test, even if you feel well.
Phil is now passionate about raising awareness of prostate cancer, particularly among men at higher risk.
“Having been diagnosed by chance, I want to do all I can to make other men aware of this disease. That’s why I’m encouraging everyone to take the 30 second online risk check. It’s quick, easy and could save your life.”
Prostate Cancer UK’s 30 second online risk checker to help men understand their risk is available online at prostatecanceruk.org/riskcheck
Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can also contact Prostate Cancer UK’s Specialist Nurses on 0800 074 8383 or online at www.prostatecanceruk.org