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10 years on: reflections of a survivor

Chris_McNamara
Community Manager
Community Manager
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PCFA Ambassador Ian Mawson shared this blog with us, reflecting on the past 10 years since his prostate cancer diagnosis.

This 13th February 2022 marks the 10th year since my radical prostatectomy which means I join the 91% of men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and survived 10 years.

My journey started in August 2011 when my GP sent me off for a PSA test. The result came back with a PSA of 6.2. She then arranged to send me to an urologist.

The Urologist met with myself and my wife in late Oct and advised me that I would need a biopsy which shocked me and was probably the worst day of the whole process. The biopsy was done in early Nov 2021 and came back with a result of Gleeson 7 and score T2a.

At the next visit the Urologist agreed to bone scan and CT scan which when we returned to the urologist on 30th Nov 2011 revealed that I had a growth on my right kidney. The urologist then referred me to a second urologist who confirmed my diagnosis.

On the 19th December 2011 I went into hospital to have a laparoscopic partial right nephrectomy. The result was the removal of a tumour 27mm long being a grade 2 tumour at a T1a pathologic stage.

The 13th February 2012 was the day of my laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. All went well and the prostate together with the seminal vesicles being removed. While the biopsy only showed one cancer after removal the pathologists found two cancers.  One being a Gleeson 7 (3+4) and the second being a Gleeson 6 (3+3). The pathological score stage was T3a.

My urologist eventually advised me that the cancers were within approximately 4 weeks of breaking out of the skin surrounding the prostate.

As I approach the 10-year mark I am very grateful that my GP pushed me to do the PSA test and that she responded very quickly to the result. I’m also very grateful to the two urologists, hospital staff, physiotherapist, wife and friends that helped in my diagnosis, treatment and healing.

Since my operation my PSA has been 0.01 – the lowest reading possible.

I have enjoyed the last 10 years and have been able to enjoy many happy events that may not have been possible had I not started my journey at that time. The highlights are many and here are a few

  • 9 weeks after my operation I was able to walk my daughter down the red carpet at her wedding.
  • I have now 6 grandchildren all born after my operation, the sixth being born last October 2021.
  • My 39th wedding anniversary will be celebrated in February.
  • I’m looking forward to another 20 to 30 years of life that most likely would not have been made possible had I not had the operation (I’m now 66).
  • I have made some great friends by being a member of the Southsiders Prostate Cancer Support group.

Ian Mawson
Ambassador PCFA

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