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Our people’s health and wellbeing is important to us, and we do what we can to provide help and advice for our employees and their families as part of our wellbeing strategy. Earlier in the year, we’ve held talks around mental health and invited employees to get their flu jabs and blood pressure tests here at Sterling House.
In the UK, 57,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and 68% of those have no symptoms at all. With our industry predominantly made up of men, it’s an important time to highlight men’s health issues and help to provide valuable information to our people both on and off site to keep them informed and actively looking after their mental and physical wellbeing.
This week, as part of Men’s Health Awareness Month, we asked executive coach Ian Windle to talk about his experience as a prostate cancer survivor and give insight on what to look out for and how to detect it early on.
In the seminar, Ian highlighted what the experience had taught him. “Being told you’ve got cancer is not something I ever expected being fit and healthy at the age of 60. I think the key thing is, you want to live your best life, but don’t wait for the shock I had. It forced me to make quick decisions about what I wanted to do in life. Get checked every year once you’re over 45, and do the things you love now.”
Ian talked candidly about his journey through being diagnosed with prostate cancer and talked about the testing and diagnosis process, as well as holding a Q&A to answer openly any questions from the group. Here’s what we learned about prostate cancer and Ian's journey.
Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in the UK. It’s more common in men who are over 50, black or who have a family history of prostate, ovarian or breast cancers. If your father or brother has had prostate cancer in his lifetime, you’re 2.5 times more likely to also develop prostate cancer. Black men are twice as likely as other men to develop prostate cancer and should be getting checked by their doctor earlier, once they turn 45, as this chance increases with age and family history, too.
Ian mentioned that, contrary to the likes of breast and cervical cancer screenings where women are sent reminders that they’re due a check-up, men are unlikely to be prompted to get a PSA test before they turn 50, so you should push for the test yourself if you’re at higher risk.
Prostate cancer isn’t always life-threatening, but like other forms of cancer, catching it early is key to being cured.
In the early stages of prostate cancer developing, there are rarely any signs or symptoms that you might have it, which is why it’s so important that you get checked out by your GP if you have any of the risk factors above, as some cancers can be in their early stages but also very aggressive.
One of the most common symptoms affects urination. If you’re struggling to urinate, have a weak flow or feel as though your bladder isn’t empty after urinating, you should get checked out by your GP. These symptoms are common in other conditions like an enlarged prostate, so it’s important to get checked.
For more information on the symptoms of prostate cancer, you can visit the Prostate Cancer website or the NHS.
There is so much support on offer for individuals affected by prostate cancer, and for their families too. What’s important is that you take all the support you need to give you the best chances of living a long and healthy life.
You can find communities and emotional support groups, online forums and websites and even support with the financial and practical changes that prostate cancer brings with it. For more information, help and support at the useful links below.