Steve Tuck

After months of restless nights caused by frequent visits to the loo, I finally went to my GP in December 2013.  As part of his investigation, my doctor carried out a Digital Rectal Exam and thought my prostate felt perfectly normal, but as he could find nothing else wrong with me he did include a PSA test in my blood work (despite me being only 48 at the time).  That came back with a reading of 2.2 and a month later 2.6, so I was packed off to see a urologist.  A series of tests showed that my urine flow was weak and my bladder was not emptying properly and although my prostate was normal size, the urologist was suspicious about how it felt when he conducted a DRE.  A TRUS biopsy came back with the news nobody wants to hear, I was diagnosed with a Gleason 7 tumour just as I turned 49 in February 2014.

Four months later, my wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with me having a robotic prostatectomy at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and my wife staying in the Premier Inn next door.  I ended up there rather than Oxford through accident rather than design, but it did mean that I was able to benefit from a nerve sparing technique, which left me with both nerve bundles intact.  Even so, it took more than a year before I felt confident in my bladder control.

At the beginning of my journey, I knew little or nothing about my prostate and I took the decision that I would share my experience to educate others to be aware of potential symptoms and not be shy about going to their GP.  I've spoken publicly about my experiences at events and to journalists and I was delighted to be invited to be part of Movember's publicity campaign in 2016. I have also been invited jointly by PCUK and the Movember Foundation to be a patient representative for a research project being led by Professor Mark Emberton at University College London.