At the grand young age of 52, Adrian Holmes qualified for a free MOT (aka Men’s Well Being health check) from his local GP Surgery. Adrian was a keen runner, golfer and cyclist and felt in really good health. Typical bloke, he didn’t actually feel the need for a Well Being health check. However, with a grandfather and uncle who both died of Prostate Cancer – largely because they ignored the signs – his spouse Phyllis was quite insistent. The MOT results were very good for BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure etc. All fine except for Adrian’s PSA which at 3.6, was only marginally over that expected for someone of his age.
Adrian had a PSA of 3.6 which was slightly higher than would be expected at his age. So he made an appointment to have a Digital Rectal Examination which didn’t indicate any abnormalities. But following a few more PSA checks Adrian decided on having a biopsy. The biopsy results had 7 out of 12 samples with cancer cells. Fortunately, the results also showed that he had a ‘pussycat’ form of prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 6 (3+3). It was a jaw dropping, moment but there was no need to panic!
When cells are seen under the microscope, they have different patterns, depending on how quickly they’re likely to grow. The pattern is given a grade from 1 to 5 – this is called the Gleason score. If you have prostate cancer, you will have Gleason grades of 3, 4 and 5.
Adrian had a biopsy of the prostate that showed he had a slow growing prostate cancer. The clinical team at Derriford Hospital explained to Adrian all the treatment pathways available to him. Adrian also took advice and listened to a wide range of people at the Plymouth Prostate Cancer Support Group. Armed with the facts from the clinicians, support from family, friends and the support group Adrian opted for Active Surveillance.
Having been diagnosed with slow growing prostate cancer Adrian decided to be on Active Surveillance and continued to do so for three years. Then after his third biopsy, along with a steadily increasing PSA, Adrian decided to have his prostate removed. Thanks to the Chestnut Appeal helping to fund the da Vinci Robot at Derriford Hospital, Adrian opted for surgery to remove the prostate in the safe hands of Mr Ramsden and assisted by Mr Sells.
The operation was a great success and Adrian was able to leave hospital the next day. After a few weeks his catheter was removed. After a few more weeks of R&R Adrian was back at work, fully recovered and leading a normal and active life. Adrian’s PSA has been 0.001 since the operation and he has been cancer free for the last three years.
“God bless the NHS. And my wife Phyllis”