In August 2016 Dennis attended a Well Man Clinic at his local GP Surgery. Dennis asked if he could have a PSA test as a friend had recently been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and being of a similar age thought he should get himself checked.
Five days later Dennis received a phone call from the surgery to make an appointment to see the doctor as one of the results from the test was of a concern. At that appointment Dennis was told that his PSA was showing a reading of 6.5 which was not normally associated with a man of his age and they needed to investigate further.(The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of Prostate Specific Antigen your blood. A raised PSA level may suggest you have a problem with your prostate, but not necessarily cancer.)
Dennis had a higher than normal PSA so his doctor carried out an internal examination, finding the prostate was slightly enlarged but not of a great concern. The high PSA reading could have been associated with a urine infection or from vigorous exercise.
The results from a second PSA test dropped to 5.5. As good as it was to hear this news Dennis was asked to come back a month later to have another blood test. The reading from that test was 5.1. This was not a sufficient decrease from the previous reading so Dennis was referred to Torbay General Hospital to have a consultation with the specialist team there.
Dennis was referred to the specialist team at Torbay General Hospital after having a number of high PSA readings and had an appointment to have a biopsy. This took place in December 2016, the following week Dennis returned to receive the results.
The findings did confirm that Dennis had indeed got prostate cancer but it was Low Risk, the cells taken at the biopsy showed only 3% abnormality.
In December 2016 Dennis had found out that he had low risk Prostate Cancer and was given a number of options and told about the side effects associated with them. Having weighed up the consequences of the various treatments Dennis decided to go on the Active Surveillance programme.
This involves Dennis presenting himself to his GP every three months to check his PSA. This is monitored for any marked changes in the readings. To date the readings haven’t fluctuated too much so Dennis remains on the Active Surveillance programme.
(Active surveillance is a way of monitoring slow-growing prostate cancer, rather than treating it straight away. The aim is to avoid unnecessary treatment, or delay treatment and the possible side effects.)
Dennis was diagnosed with Low Risk Prostate Cancer in December 2016 and chose to be on Active Surveillance. Due to an implant in his skull Dennis was unable to have an MRI scan and so some 18 months after diagnosis had a second biopsy. The results indicated that his prostate cancer was still Low Risk with the cells showing only 5% to be abnormal.
In 2018 Dennis trained for a completed the Plymouth Half Marathon in 2hr 45 minutes raising over £800 for the Chestnut Appeal.
Today, Dennis remains on Active Surveillance, with blood being taken every six months.