Cancer Want to talk about it?

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  • Many of us have experience of cancer,having had it and recovered,have it now, or are helping someone coping with it, or lost someone because of it.Of the loved ones I have known with cancer only one outlived it due to early diagnosis.Do you think the current health scans are good enough?

  • Until I saw Bernies post I had no idea men were entitled to an NHS blood test every year as prostate screening.What is in the blood that shows up?Why cant it be used for all other types as it is logical that all cancer cells are active and leave traces of activity in the blood.I would rather a blood test.The mechanical cervical tests are awful and the experience is defined by the skill or not,usually not:( of the nurse involved.

  • The blood test is called a PSA and I guess the P stands for Prostate and the A I believe stands for antibodies.


    As I understand it, it doesn't tell directly that you have cancer but a high PSA count indicates the prostate is unhappy and more tests follow.


    Several men I know have tested positive and been diagnosed with cancer when they had no idea they even had a problem. Another friend of a friend has just been called in for tests this week, I heard yesterday.

    Its not done routinely everywhere although it should be.

    There has been stuff in the news this week that prostate cancer kills more than breast cancer but only gets a fraction of the funding

  • A fraction of the funding?:(I had no idea.Why I wonder,when it is just as deadly,easy to check for and is as common as breast cancer.Is it the "up the ass"taboo,low test take up driving demand ,or lack of testing to start with?Hopefully with new non invasive testing more men will get checked out.How on earth does a traveller cope with the medical intervention needed,when you have to be static for appointments.Even with gps there are ingrained issues that are dangerous.I have met poorly informed gps and patronizing gps when taking others for mole worry checks.Unfortunately to get to a qualified skin consultant you have to be referred by a gp.

  • PSA tests are certainly not new, they have been around for years but (as I understand it) because they are not directly a cancer test the surgery cannot pass on the charge to a central screening programme.


    I have just checked, there is no national prostate screening programme in UK


    The finger test only checks the size of the prostate. An enlarged prostate may be due to a tumour but there are other possibilities. However, if there is a tumour, by the time it has grown big enough to be noticeable to a finger examination it will have already progressed beyond the early stages.


    PSA tests can pick up abnormalities a lot earlier. Prostate cancers are usually slow growing and yearly PSA tests can identify that the PSA count is increasing year on year before other symptoms become noticable.

  • Quote Bernie ~ from other thread.

    For men prostate screening is a simple blood test once a year which all men over a certain age are supposed to have. A lot of trusts don't do them routinely because they are not centrally funded.



    Thanks Bernie. I will ask my GP. I’m a typical bloke. I don’t like to take up GP’s time. Only go when I really need to.

    Often it’s a case of phone at 8.30a.m to see if a doctor is available. So I Phone at 8.29am it rings, goes to answer machine. Phone 8.30am and it’s busy. Repeated phone calls every second engaged ringtone I hang up and ring again, until 8.11am sometime, making 14 attempts to get through sometimes, when the receptionist says “sorry, no appointments left, try again tomorrow”. 3 weeks wait to pre-book a appointment. Obviously they priorities and thankfully I can be seen at a partner surgery or the sit and wait scenario if it’s emergency or hospital related. So I know how over stretched our GP service is.

    I make sure Im never late and never deliberately miss appointments. But like with this chest infection. I did say by last Wednesday I would go see my GP if no improvement. My partner required antibiotics for her chest infection around the same day. Todate I haven’t been. It’s not cleared up or got any worse for me. I’ve avoided further use of antibiotics and not taken up a GP’s time.

    If and when I do require the doctor I usually have one or more issue, ailments and often come out with more than one prescription. I don’t go to A&E unless I could require X-ray, plastic surgery, stitches etc and will bypass my GP in those events.


    I tend to mend real well, get over colds and bugs in time. I like to think my immune sytem deals with stuff naturally.

    If I have a opertunity to kill many birds with one stone, I will suggest extensive blood testing if I have further concerns and will be giving a blood sample anyway. If I don’t think I need medication or won’t make use of it, I will decline prescription offers.


    I’m now 55 and it appears to be a magic number for health checks and well men clinics are being banded about with invite. These programs are useful for catching folk like me who may not be in the local system often enough.

    I had a flue vaccination in November, because I was promoted at the chemist, “free NHS flue jab here” only after consenting, to be asked to pay £10 so I declined. Only to have it free at my doctors a week later.

    Having been a frequent (fortnightly) outpatient at the not so local Hospital pain clinic for most of last year, physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and for three sessions with a pain psychologist. I’m now transferred to a further hospital for ongoing physiotherapy. So it’s not like I don’t exist.

    For sometime I’ve being saying to my disabled mate “ you watch, I will put up with chronic pain for years and knowing my luck go on to get arse cancer” so I am aware of of it, if not scared of having a worst deal. I check my balls for any irregularity often and would break down the doctors door if found anything unusual, sometimes I convince myself one ball is bigger, but not all things are equal and it’s just wishful thinking.


    I think Bernie and these related threads including news media have prompted me to get inline and go for the ‘well men” check up thats been advertised locally. I have everything to loose.

  • I've no idea if the current scans are good enough!(One can only hope they are).My Dad had cancer twice.First time was when he had half his lung removed,was told the long term life expectancy was pretty good.He recovered from the op,and got on with life.18 mths later,he started having seizures.After a scan,and further tests,he was then diagnosed with a brain tumour,which was inoperable.He never left hospital.He went from the x ray dept straight into the hospice dept.A month later he was dead at 61.Pretty cruel considering he had worked hard all his life,and had planned a great retirement,and had already brought a house up the coast to move into.

  • I've no idea if the current scans are good enough!(One can only hope they are).My Dad had cancer twice.First time was when he had half his lung removed,was told the long term life expectancy was pretty good.He recovered from the op,and got on with life.18 mths later,he started having seizures.After a scan,and further tests,he was then diagnosed with a brain tumour,which was inoperable.He never left hospital.He went from the x ray dept straight into the hospice dept.A month later he was dead at 61.Pretty cruel considering he had worked hard all his life,and had planned a great retirement,and had already brought a house up the coast to move into.

    very sorry to hear that cobra.x

  • Scans can only do so much but sometimes they can tell you a lot more than you really want to know.


    A dear friend of mine's been told her elderly mother has terminal cancer. Terminal in the sense that they are not going to offer her any treatment.


    The thing is she didn't go for a scan because they thought she had cancer, the scan was to check out an existing heart condition. Totally unrelated but they told her mum like an MOT inspector telling her the car would not get through the next test.


    So now they have all that hanging over the family and they are all in a sort of limbo. It ruined Christmas, sometimes ignorance has its advantages.


    We are all on borrowed time, how much do we really want to know?

  • So now they have all that hanging over the family and they are all in a sort of limbo. It ruined Christmas, sometimes ignorance has its advantages.


    We are all on borrowed time, how much do we really want to know?

    The trouble is knowing what you dont want to know?(.How can you decide if you want to know it, or ignore it,until you know what IT is?My survival is more pertinent to me at present as beings are dependant on me.If no one was, I would ignore all the medics ad infinitum and get rat assed and wrecked as much as possible on my, round the globe in a camper mission.:)All any of us can be sure of is the one breath within us.The rest is only ever hope.

  • The word cancer scares the shit out of people .It has many forms . My main and first real experience was that of my father when I was 14 , he had a pussy mole on his back , he went into a burns unit where they made a hole about 9 inchs round by half an inch deep .It was left open to promote healing It was a melanoma I believe , my mother was in total denial he had cancer , she went mad when I told some one and it got back to her . He was in that unit at least 6 months. We went to visit him every day by train , it was a 2 hr round trip . The ward which was very big was full off other people with terrible conditions . It was pretty traumatic . While there they diagnosed he had very bad lung cancer . After the six months he came home for a week and then was wisked off to another hospital a 4 hour round trip away. His lung was removed , but after about 3 months , still in the hospital he died of a massive heart attack . Years later , my uncle his elder brother , said the poor man had been so terrified by the whole process , he thought that was what bought the heart attack on , my father was riddled with cancer , and they had only given him another 6 months if he survived the lung removal.

    In my humble opinion , my father would have been better off NOT having any treatment , and spent his dieing days at home with his family, passing away with dignety in a pleasant enviroment, he hated the hospital enviroment with others dieing around him , the noises off others suffering , ,the stress it caused everyone . It was a living hell My mother literaly went grey and haggered looking .

    The whole buisness left me with a legacy of acute white coat syndrome .

    Me ? I would rather not know if I had a serious form of cancer . We only live once , and every day is a birthday . I am prone to stress and depression as it is , why compound things for my self ?

  • Sorry Ma but from first hand 'waiting' the end bit of cancer is anything but dignified and the morphine machine is euthanasia by another name.

    Quote

    We only live once , and every day is a birthday .

    Everyday is a birthday. We just need to celebrate it by appreciating the good things around us.

  • Waiting for the end is anything but dignified. Various members of my family have had cancer or heart disease / strokes and my dad and grandma died of emphasyma so one way or other im fucked.. All were a long drawn out painful death.


    My dad was on morphine and oxygen as he deteriorated, it was horrible. He wanted to die at home and he got his wish luckily (as wulfie says, the euthanasia machine is at least a help) Visiting him in hospital surrounded by people in the same ward choking to death, sometimes literally, has pretty much left me unable to visit anyone in hospital. My missus was in for a fairly routine op some years ago and i couldnt stay for the full visit.


    Im pretty convinced that should i get a terminal diagnosis im going to do the last few things i need to, sort my shit out, say some goodbyes then retire to a nice peaceful place with a bottle of southern comfort and a shotgun.

  • The word cancer scares the shit out of people .It has many forms . My main and first real experience was that of my father when I was 14 , he had a pussy mole on his back , he went into a burns unit where they made a hole about 9 inchs round by half an inch deep .It was left open to promote healing It was a melanoma I believe , my mother was in total denial he had cancer , she went mad when I told some one and it got back to her . He was in that unit at least 6 months. We went to visit him every day by train , it was a 2 hr round trip . The ward which was very big was full off other people with terrible conditions . It was pretty traumatic . While there they diagnosed he had very bad lung cancer . After the six months he came home for a week and then was wisked off to another hospital a 4 hour round trip away. His lung was removed , but after about 3 months , still in the hospital he died of a massive heart attack . Years later , my uncle his elder brother , said the poor man had been so terrified by the whole process , he thought that was what bought the heart attack on , my father was riddled with cancer , and they had only given him another 6 months if he survived the lung removal.

    In my humble opinion , my father would have been better off NOT having any treatment , and spent his dieing days at home with his family, passing away with dignety in a pleasant enviroment, he hated the hospital enviroment with others dieing around him , the noises off others suffering , ,the stress it caused everyone . It was a living hell My mother literaly went grey and haggered looking .

    The whole buisness left me with a legacy of acute white coat syndrome .

    Me ? I would rather not know if I had a serious form of cancer . We only live once , and every day is a birthday . I am prone to stress and depression as it is , why compound things for my self ?

    Thank you for sharing that. I often forget others have been through so much more too and often worse.

    I/we nursed my dad. His lungs were fked from a life in the coal mines and smoking/ for all the hours he lived in the fields alongside his dogs, it wasn’t enough to stop the complimentary bad lifestyle choices now making him too weak to fight everything at once. There was no hospital options/interventions. Just a refill oxygen tank and morphine. So luckily he did remain with his family. His loss was nolonger being with breath to walk to the fields, never mind around them. I would drive him and his sidekick poacher mate to the rabbit holes in my lorry, just to see him in his element.


    He had stopped working, stopped smoking, stopped drinking, but it was all too late. I selfishly had burnt myself out with trying to care for him, balanced with Living the traveller life and raising a very young family in harder times than most. I lived in a field close by in his last years. I covered the night shift as mum worked and younger sister had her own family, but she gave more than any. I would walk 2 miles in the opposite direction, before turning round to walk back to cover the night shift. In hopes by using up the hours, his time suffering would be less. I wished him away in the end.


    It’s bugged me for a few years now in that I’m at the age he became a fallen man. I look at my physical limitations and fear reduced mobility, loss of ability can be a slippery slope. I’m questioning longterm plans and goals for a sure as hell surrender them all to defeat and enjoy what I have and can do and experience. If I get 20 years more than my dad. I don’t want to waste a day of them. I said back then that Ive done my caring, but it’s like people I get to know all need someone at sometime and Ive lost 2 more mates that Ive cared for since, and Im now inadvertently caring for another friend.


    Like ma said, sometimes not knowing can be a kind of blessing, but shortened suffering certainly is.

  • Sorry Ma but from first hand 'waiting' the end bit of cancer is anything but dignified and the morphine machine is euthanasia by another name.

    Everyday is a birthday. We just need to celebrate it by appreciating the good things around us.

    Yes the end is not at all dignified , but in my fathers case where he knew he was fucked , the 9 months of hospitals ,serious surgery and the stress on my mother were such a waste .

    I am like Rick , and find myself totally unable to go in hospitals unless I have no other option .

    I have been very inspired by a friend recently by the courage they are showing at the moment , They underwent surgery /chemo for breast cancer about 5 years ago , and were given the all clear , on a routine check up a couple of months ago , a tumour was found in her spine , she has just gone under the knife again.

    We all live to an older age these days , and a lot off use on her are of the age where our freinds are dieing around us from age /disease /life style . Getting old aint pretty , but its better than the other option .

  • Its funny others talk about a dread of hospitals, I thought that was only me.

    My grandfather had peritonitis when I was four and wasn't expected to pull through it. I remember sitting in the hospital corridor picking up on the anxiety from the adults and I believe it affected me for life

  • My eldest brother and sister have both had skin cancer,brother had it twice!Brother in law had stomach cancer too,and half his guts cut out.Luckily after 6 yrs he's still alive and kicking.I was talking to one of my neighbours last week who has terminal cancer.I can discuss death quite openly,and she ended up discussing her partners fears re discussing her own funeral.Her partner just won't discuss it.It upsets her too much.Its not nice to think someone you love won't be around much longer,but I prefer to discuss stuff openly,you know...feel the fear and do it anyway!lol I've already discussed my (lack of)funeral arrangements with my husband and kids.(I'm getting cremated,but not having a service of any kind)and we have abit of a laugh about it.

    Getting back to the neighbour though,I feel abit sorry for her tbh.Not because she's dying but because her partner won't discuss the funeral arrangements or life afterwards without her.I would imagine the neighbour already is dealing with her own real fears without her partner passing on her own?

  • My eldest brother and sister have both had skin cancer,brother had it twice!Brother in law had stomach cancer too,and half his guts cut out.Luckily after 6 yrs he's still alive and kicking.I was talking to one of my neighbours last week who has terminal cancer.I can discuss death quite openly,and she ended up discussing her partners fears re discussing her own funeral.Her partner just won't discuss it.It upsets her too much.Its not nice to think someone you love won't be around much longer,but I prefer to discuss stuff openly,you know...feel the fear and do it anyway!lol I've already discussed my (lack of)funeral arrangements with my husband and kids.(I'm getting cremated,but not having a service of any kind)and we have abit of a laugh about it.

    Getting back to the neighbour though,I feel abit sorry for her tbh.Not because she's dying but because her partner won't discuss the funeral arrangements or life afterwards without her.I would imagine the neighbour already is dealing with her own real fears without her partner passing on her own?

    It is hard to know how you are going to feel about things until you are in the middle of it.

    I can easily see that the prospect of my partner dying and me having to cope with the aftermath (practical and emotional) would scare me a lot more that my own demise.

  • I've already discussed my husbands funeral arrangements,and as I said my own.Afterall,how do I know what he wants if we don't discuss it?And visa versa?I'd find it more scary actually if we had'nt of discussed it.We have an envelope in the filing cabinet,that instructs the person who's left,what to do,from funeral stuff to who to contact (bank,utilities,etc)I find it quite comforting tbh to have some plan in place.I think I'd be going through enough anyway without worrying about who to contact,or worrying what to do re the funeral etc.

  • I only went to pieces after the funeral ceremony. It was the end of keeping it together for everyone. I didn’t go to the pub after to celebrate with my dad’s old pals. Instead me and my older brother walked out, thumbed a lift. We had no idea where we were heading. Some guy pulled up in a mini pick up and we both just jumped into the back. We ended up on the piss miles from our family and homes. Funny how we react. But I now get teary at any funeral. Unless I really make the effort to detach myself from the event. Last year I had to take my mate to a Hells Angles funeral. No way could I afford to get watery eyes there and now feel confident it’s not a lifetime condition.

  • Alice you just reminded me of something.....we went to my husbands cousins funeral last week.He was 60!A biker dude!Anyway I got talking to my bro in law (also a biker dude)and were discussing weddings of all things!(Yes at the funeral?lol)Both our daughters are getting married,so I asked him how much they were contributing towards their daughters wedding.He replied "Not alot,spent most my spare money on bikes and shotguns" I replied "Oh?Sounds like my ex husband"?....He replied "Oh sorry"?I then said "Don't apologise...he never did"!:D we both cracked up laughing....and yes people did give us dirty looks too!Whoops! (the guy who died,had a wreath in the shape of a Harley,nice touch!)

  • I've already discussed my husbands funeral arrangements,and as I said my own.Afterall,how do I know what he wants if we don't discuss it?And visa versa?I'd find it more scary actually if we had'nt of discussed it.We have an envelope in the filing cabinet,that instructs the person who's left,what to do,from funeral stuff to who to contact (bank,utilities,etc)I find it quite comforting tbh to have some plan in place.I think I'd be going through enough anyway without worrying about who to contact,or worrying what to do re the funeral e


    ive done all that too.Talking about and organising the inevitable end that we will all experience doesnt bring it any closer.I see it as a comfort that ones left behind wont have the added confusion and stress of sorting stuff out.None of us know when we will leave so being prepared and keeping a bit of order helps a great deal.When my hoarder uncle passed on it took 2 months of digging through the stuff to find all his documents and paperwork.Apart from the time it took, the process felt very intrusive and all of us would have preferred not to do it.A will was not found so intestate which was another very long drawn out stress.Im sure it was not what he wanted for us but he just could not face his passing.





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  • A while ago I sourced a free filing cabinet! I'd wanted one for a while,and it feels so good to just have all our paperwork organised,in diff sections.We know exactly what we need to do in the event of our death/s.I like everything out in the open,I deal with it much better.My Mum died 3 yrs ago and she was really organised too!We still had to sort her house out,but that was relatively easy.No sifting through boxes and drawers for paperwork,and it made the grieving process easier to bare.

  • Its not really a question of not funding a national screening program,its doubts that have arisen over the seemingly unnecessary treatment of men simply because of high PSA blood results,findimgs that have emerged over time.

    Its a good indicator something may be wrong,especially if its a very high test reading,but borderline high doesnt necessarily mean its prostate cancer or that it will ever lead to it and a lot of men have endured very unpleasant treatment procedures purely based on accepted procedure recommendation because of an above normal PSA reading and that they need not have had.


    I think the medical profession both here and the US would prefer a more definitive test or diagnostic protocol than a blood test alone.I believe thats why theres not been a national screening program implemented.


    Its similar to the doubts now being aired over the effectiveness of mass breast screening mammography.


    Also similar, the doubts being aired about Statins being routinely prescribed for persons with high cholesterol and a familial history of hypertension/cardiac/stroke events.


    Everyone should go see their GP if things arent as they were normally and most GPs will screen appropriately on that medical history and physical examination and scans,the problem comes when the blood result says one thing and suggests a line of treatment that 'may' turn out to be unnecessary.


    Theres also some very interesting developments in the scanning technology now for prostate cancer where theyre able to accurately pinpoint cancerous cells better than MRI and CT scan,one called Gallium 68 PET Scan theres also another scan called the Prostascint scan and so alongside the PSA test amd other scans may prove more useful and avoid unnecessary stress and procedures or further procedures after initial diagnosis and treatment.

    This link is a scan introduced in NZ in 2016

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-new…prostate-cancer-diagnosis


    Some helpful reading on these other websites and via the NHS website.



    https://www.prostatecanceruk.o…n/prostate-tests/psa-test


    https://www.health.harvard.edu…and-cons-of-psa-screening

  • Its not really a question of not funding a national screening program,its doubts that have arisen over the seemingly unnecessary treatment of men simply because of high PSA blood results,findimgs that have emerged over time.

    A high PSA reading only gets you referred for a biopsy and / or a scan. Its not as though they are going to give you any treatment just on the basis of a psa test.


    But at the moment when there is no screening programme for prostate in this country, whatever the pros and cons, early diagnosis is unlikely

  • A high PSA reading only gets you referred for a biopsy and / or a scan. Its not as though they are going to give you any treatment just on the basis of a psa test.


    But at the moment when there is no screening programme for prostate in this country, whatever the pros and cons, early diagnosis is unlikely

    That is very sad.especially as with most cancers symptoms dont become evident until its got a good hold on you.What happened to the trained cancer detecting dogs?There was a lot of press a year or so ago about dogs that could smell the presence of cancer in someone.It is logical surely that the activity of any cell produces waste of some sort that may be very very small that can be detected somehow?The blood still seems a logical point of detection as it serves all cells throughout the body.