Taking Charge of Your Health

My name is Shiv Bhanot, I’m a urologist
and I work at King George hospital in East London. Prostate cancer can be divided into different stages: it can be within the prostate, we call it early or localised, locally advanced,
or it may be cancer which has spread to far-off places, which we call metastatic prostate
cancer. Prostate cancer to begin with is at the early stage when it is within the prostate. There is a range of treatment options for early prostate cancer. One of the options for treatment is
watchful waiting, which means we watch the patient until he develops any symptoms. We don’t give any treatment, but just monitor him. Most patients with early prostate cancer
will have low-risk disease and they may very well be suited for active monitoring. If there is any evidence during the monitoring phase that the cancer is growing then we can change our strategy. The second option which we use in early prostate cancer is surgery. The aim of surgical treatment
is to remove the prostate. The third treatment is radiotherapy. This can be given in two
different ways: either by radiation being given from outside or radioactive seeds can
be inserted into the prostate. We call this brachytherapy. Several factors need to be
considered before an optimum choice of treatment will be made. These factors are how fit you
are, what is the grade of the cancer, if there are any urinary symptoms or not, what is the
PSA value and many other factors before you decide what is the correct option for you. It is, in fact, a patient choice and we as urologists and specialist oncologists advise patients
of various pros and cons of each treatment. My name is Patrick Williams, I am 61 this
year and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Everybody wanted to help quite a bit. I mean,
my Macmillan nurse in particular was incredibly good because she was able to look at a lot
of things, you know, in terms of how I was able to cope with things and, you know, cope
with daily life and doing day-to-day work and doing day-to-day things. I’ve had to
learn to live with it and I’ve had to find a coping mechanism and being able to find
that coping mechanism is my own path. I think everyone has their own pathway of how they
deal with things. Some people have family that can support them through this. Some people
have friends that are much closer. Mine was that I had to use music, I had to use laughter
and I had to use my own strength and getting involved with Macmillan on a bigger scale.
Life goes on, you know, life goes on all the time and you’ve got to think positive and
you’ve got to be positive about your life and to realise that you can’t let this throw
you down. So you’ve got to pick up yourself and get out there and get back into, you know,
the rat race.

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