Den's Story

on Friday, 13 November 2015. Tags MensHealthAwareness, ProstateCancer, ProstateCancerSupportGroup

Den says, ‘Problem With Your Waterworks? – Go See Your Doc!’

Men’s Health champion Den urges more local men to be more aware of the signs & symptoms of Prostate cancer

Retired Power station worker Den Bray aged 72 from Scalehall was first diagnosed with Prostate cancer back in 2006 after complaining to his G.P about problems he was having with his waterworks.

Den Bray

Den says, “When I first went to see my G.P he just put it down to my age. However, two years later I was back because I still wasn't feeling right. Finally, I was sent for further tests.”

Every year 41,000 men are told they have prostate cancer and 10,000 die of the disease, equivalent to one an hour. While death rates for breast cancer and many other cancers have fallen sharply, the numbers dying of Prostate Cancer have remained stubbornly high. It is often said that more men die with Prostate Cancer than die of it because so many have the disease but aren’t being treated.

“It was an incredibly stressful time leading up to my diagnosis. Although the clinical side was good, I experienced lots of problems such as mix ups with my appointments and hold ups between my biopsies which caused me a lot of anxiety.”

Den’s diagnosis was eventually confirmed and then admitted to Preston Infirmary  for  a Radical  Prostatectomy .  

 Den decided to turn to CancerCare - a local charity close to his heart - to help him through this difficult time.

 “I’d been a volunteer and worked at CancerCare for a number of years as a handyman and driver but I never thought I’d end up as a client there!”

 “I accessed their Hypnotherapy service at their centre in Lancaster. They supported me right through from my diagnosis, through treatment and after my op too. They helped me find a new way forward”.

Den – who has since made a full recovery – was later approached by his Consultant Oncologist Dr Alison Birtle to help set up a new Patient led support group to help local men who found themselves in a similar situation.

“The support group was the first of its kind in the local area and with help from a local cancer nurse, we decided to send information out to men who had recently been diagnosed and invite them along to our first meeting. 74 men came to the first session – we were overwhelmed! But it soon became obvious that this was something that was really needed in the local community.”

Nearly 10 years on, Den is now the Chairman of The Bay Prostate Cancer Support Group who meet at CancerCare’s Slynedales centre on the 2nd Tuesday of every month providing information, care and support those affected by the disease.

Mens Health Prostate Group 01

“We also recognise that family members can also experience just as much loneliness and uncertainty associated with the disease so our doors are open to anyone who might be struggling.”

The main symptoms of Prostate cancer can include: having to rush to the toilet to pass urine, passing urine more often than usual, especially at night, difficulty passing urine, including straining to pass it or stopping and starting, a sense of not being able to completely empty the bladder.

The Bay Prostate Support Group meets on the second Tuesday of every month from 7.30pm-9pm at CancerCare’s Slynedales Centre on Slyne Road, Lancaster.

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