St Albans prostate cancer survivor speaks out
- Credit: STEWART WILLIAMS
Prostate cancer survivor Jason Keener is used to baring his body and his soul in his bid to raise awareness of the potentially fatal condition.
Jason, 43, from St Albans, has not only stripped off for a national newspaper to publicise the Male Cancer Awareness Go Commando campaign alongside the likes of Dermot O’Leary, Louis Smith and Keith Lemon, but will be sharing his cancer story at a free event in Harpenden later this month.
He was one of the youngest men in the UK to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and underwent surgery to have his prostate removed using the state-of-the-art Da Vinci robot.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and affects over 40,000 men in the UK each year including those in their 50s and, like Jason, in their 40s.
Jason was active and healthy when he started feeling tired and noticed he was needing to go to the toilet more often.
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His GP carried out some tests including checking his prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, which were found to be raised. Because of his age, he was told this was probably nothing to worry about, but was referred to consultant urologist with The Prostate Practice, Jim Adshead, who discovered Jason had prostate cancer.
Jason said: “It was a big shock, but I knew I was in good hands. I was advised surgery was my best option and then told about the robot which sounded amazing.”
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Mr Adshead explained: “The treatment of prostate cancer isn’t one size fits all. We look at every patient individually taking into account their history, clinical needs and lifestyle. Because of Jason’s age and the fact that by seeking help quickly the cancer was contained within his prostate, surgery using the Da Vinci robot was his best treatment option.”
Jason added: “When I was told I was going to have my prostate removed by a robot I was really surprised – it all seemed a bit science fiction. But the surgery went well and within three months I was back to normal. If I hadn’t gone to my doctor when I did, and get the treatment I was offered I don’t think I’d be here today.
“I’m so grateful, and am now really keen to help raise awareness that younger men need to know the symptoms too. Anything to get people talking about health issues has got to be good.
“My dad died of the disease when he was 66, but I didn’t know that until after I’d gone through everything.
“Being told I had prostate cancer was like being hit by a sledgehammer, but a lot of positivity is now coming out of everything.”
Jason added: “If it gets one bloke to notice something and get himself to his doctor, then it’s worth it.”
The Prostate Practice’s information and awareness event is free of charge, and is being held at Spire Harpenden Hospital in Ambrose Lane at 7pm on Tuesday, March 25. It is suitable for both men and women, and will include the offer to make an appointment to have a free PSA test if needed. Further information about prostate issues can be found at www.theprostatepractice.com. Anyone interested in booking a place at the awareness event should call 020 8185 7190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org