Anglesey man calls for all men to know their risk after his treatment for prostate cancer

Idwal Hughes, 57, was diagnosed with prostate cancer on 16 January, 2018 after an earlier prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test showed that his PSA levels were higher than average.

 
After undergoing a number of scans, he received the positive news that his cancer had not spread to other parts of the body. He then underwent surgery in April to remove his prostate.
 
He said: “When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer I was shocked, mainly because I hadn’t been experiencing any of the typical symptoms.
 
“I was very lucky, as mine was caught early, and I had surgery three months later in April to remove my prostate.
 
“Luckily, I didn’t have to go through radiotherapy or chemotherapy, as the results from the lymph nodes (local to the prostate), which were removed at the same time, came back clear, which was a huge relief”.
 
“My PSA levels are now undetectable; however, they will be monitored going forward to keep an eye on things.”
 
During his time at Ysbyty Gwynedd he met Linda Williams, Uro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, and who was present to provide support when he received the diagnosis.
 
“Linda was fantastic, she was very helpful and went through everything with me in regards to what would happen next.
 
“It’s really important that this information is provided at the time, as when you hear you have cancer, you don’t really take a lot of things in, as regards to what is being said or explained in the room,” added Idwal.Prostatecancer2
 
Idwal, from Penysarn, hopes by sharing his story, that it will encourage other men to be aware of the disease and to seek medical help if they experience any symptoms.
 
Like Idwal, most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any symptoms. However, possible symptoms can include a weak flow when you urinate, a feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly and needing to urinate more often, especially at night.
 
In the UK, around 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Older men, men with a family history of prostate cancer and black men are more at risk.
 
Linda, who works in the Urology Department at Ysbyty Gwynedd, is keen to raise awareness around prostate cancer after seeing an increase in patients with the disease over the last few years.
 
“I’d like to thank Idwal for sharing his experience with prostate cancer, it’s important to speak about their experience as it may give other men confidence to either seek help about issues that are difficult to talk about, and also encourage others to be more open about living with and after prostate cancer.
 
“My role is to support them and their families at the time of diagnosis, during and after treatment to ensure they are adequately informed and prepared, so that they can make an informed choice about their treatment, and communicate with tertiary treatment centres to ensure their care from one area to another is as seamless as possible, making sure that they have a good experience.”
 
Idwal added: “I decided to speak out about my diagnosis in the hope it would encourage other men to talk more about their own diagnosis or if they are worried about any symptoms they are having.
 
“Your health is the most important thing and if you act quickly it gives you a better chance to catch anything nasty early.
 
“Those thirty seconds of embarrassment can save your life.”
 
For more information on prostate cancer visit https://prostatecanceruk.org/