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Local man encourages men to get checked after battle with prostate cancer

Alan Kerr (65) was diagnosed in early 2021, and has shared his experience and advice for treating the disease.

A Stirlingshire man has opened up about his experiences with being diagnosed, living with and treating prostate cancer. 

Alan Kerr spoke to us as he hopes to raise awareness for the disease, which is most commonly found in men over the age of 50.

Alan detailed his journey through LDR brachytherapy; a treatment which is a form of radiotherapy whereby small radioactive "seeds" are put into the prostate. They remain within the prostate permanently, releasing a steady dose of radiation over a period of time.

Alan Said:

"-Luckily the son-in-law of a good friend of mine is a consultant radiologist in Edinburgh. I phoned him and asked who I should talk to about Brachytherapy, and he put me in touch with a consultant who I eventually went to at SPIRE Murrayfield Hospital. When looking at all of my options, I recognised that Brachytherapy had the least side effects compared to a prostatectomy or external beam radiation, and I could go back to normal life quickly. I had no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this was the option for me."

Alan went on to highlight the importance of PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) testing. A form of blood testing used to determine if someone has developed prostate cancer.

"One of the biggest issues is that a number of my friends that I have recommended to have a PSA test have gone to the GP and the GP either says they don’t offer PSA tests, or you have to have a reason for it. And yet every single person that I've talked to that has had prostate cancer has had zero symptoms. The PSA test should be offered as a standard test for men over the age of 50, similar to breast cancer screening for women. This is the biggest cancer problem for males in the UK and I just find it incredible that we don't do that already.”

Alan's encouraging men to speak more openly about the signs of prostate cancer. He hopes that through this small campaign, those who might not be concerned, or who show no symptoms, contact their GP and get tested. He's also calling for wider availability of PSA testing in clinics and hospitals across the UK.

You can listen to an extended clip from our conversation with Alan Kerr within this article.

 

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