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Patrick O’Mara, an accountant from Kent, is 55 and a dedicated Wimbledon FC fan. Like WFC, he values second chances and the support of his fans.
In 2012 his employer, KBR, offered him an overseas assignment in Saudi Arabia. With his children grown and his partner supportive of the idea, he decided to go for it.
A routine medical review was required to undertake the assignment, during which Patrick was offered a PSA test — which he declined.
“I was only 48, didn’t think I was at risk of prostate cancer, and wanted to avoid any follow-up while in Saudi” he explains. “Bad decision”.
Fast forward 2 years and Patrick is now back in the UK, offered another overseas gig, and this time he accepted the offer of a PSA test during his required medical. And this time it was 5.5, sending him on a diagnostic pathway with FTC Consultant Urologist Raj Nigam. Following an MRI and a biopsy, Raj told Patrick that he had a low-grade (Gleeson 3+3) prostate cancer and outlined a number of treatment options.
“He didn’t mince words” recalls Patrick. “And he helped me think about my options in the context of my circumstances – age, going overseas, and relationships.”
In presenting the treatment choices open to Patrick, Raj gave him the opportunity to look into a range of procedures offered both privately and on the NHS. Patrick was attracted to HIFU for a range of reasons – not least of which was Raj’s highly regarded expertise as a focal therapy practitioner. The only constraint was Patrick’s private insurer, CIGNA, did not cover the procedure. Patrick decided to go ahead, out of pocket.
Preparations for his focal therapy revealed that Patrick had an enlarged prostate – not a surprise given that he had been “waking up every night for twenty years to have a pee”. Raj performed a TURP procedure for this at the same time as the HIFU in 2014 on one of Patrick’s return trips from Saudi.
Today Patrick is cancer free and “sleeping like a baby”, uninterrupted, seven hours a night.
What Patrick feels most strongly about from his experience with prostate cancer is the “randomness” of his diagnosis and the importance of his second chance in getting a PSA test.
“Prostate cancer is too widespread to leave it to this” he says. “Information and support is sorely needed for blokes who don’t have access to company medicals”.
He sees an opportunity for football clubs like WFC to promote screening for prostate cancer, by giving men information and possibly sponsoring PSA testing.
Workplaces, too, eager to promote health and wellness amongst their staff, often say very little if anything about prostate cancer. “I want to see prostate cancer awareness up there with breast cancer”, says Patrick – a particularly relevant comment given that just this week deaths from prostate cancer overtook those from breast cancer in the UK.
“Not everyone is going to be as lucky as me,” emphasises Patrick, “but all men should be given the chance to be”.
As a group of consultants we are passionate about all prostate cancer sufferers knowing about all of their treatment options.
Based upon the details that you know and can provide to us, we will send you a Plain English personalised preliminary suitability report for HIFU Focal Therapy treatment of your prostate cancer.
You can use the information we provide in your conversations with your existing NHS and/or private treatment consultant. Should you wish to talk with us further we would be grateful to help you, but there is absolutely no obligation for you to do so whatsoever.