Neal’s story


I went to pass water one evening and noticed there was more blood than urine. The same thing happened the following morning and I made an appointment to see my GP. He told me I probably had a bladder infection and prescribed antibiotics, but emphasised that if I was unable to pass urine I should go to A&E straightaway. By the afternoon I was unable to pass anything and a friend drove me to hospital. They gave me a PSA test (a blood test for prostate cancer), a CT scan and various examinations.

My PSA turned out to be 907. Normal range is up to four.

I was told that I had advanced prostate cancer that had spread to my bones and would see a cancer nurse the next morning. My treatment consisted of six chemotherapy sessions at three-weekly intervals, and I have hormone therapy injections every three months.

You have nothing to fear from visiting your GP, but the consequences of not going could be much worse

In the past, cancer was known as the ‘Big C’ and there was a stigma attached to it. You just had to live with it, get on with it and not talk about it. But now, if you take action early enough, there’s a good chance you’ll get better.

Please be open-minded

Since having cancer I’ve tried alternative medicine, reflexology and acupuncture, and have joined a cancer support group. I think that’s pretty good going for someone of a certain generation! I urge you to be just as open-minded about visiting your GP if you’ve got any worrying symptoms.