‘Take a simple test that could save your life’ is the message from a retired businessman who could have died from prostate cancer.
Christopher Hughes, from Brownsover, went for a health ‘MOT’ after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The test led to the diagnosis of prostate cancer – and, if it hadn’t been found, it would have become incurable a year later.
The 69-year-old is now highlighting the importance of getting a check-up.
“My prostate was riddled with cancer,” he said.
“If it had been left for just one more year, it would have spread so far, the cancer would not have been treatable.
“It’s hard to take this in – knowing how close I would have been to death.
“Men don’t talk about prostate cancer in the same way as women who are much more open about breast cancer. This is costing men’s lives,” he said.
Mr Hughes’ father died from prostate cancer at the age of 72.
He said: “With this type of cancer, it is really bewildering. You are not told ‘this is what we are going to do’. You are given choices, but it is very hard to know what to do for the best.”
Mr Hughes had surgery at the Priory Hospital in Birmingham a few months ago.
“Although I was tempted to put it off, surgery made sense to me,” he said.
“My wife’s breast cancer was diagnosed at an early stage, which meant fortunately, she had effective treatment and made a full recovery.”
Mr Hughes, who ran a vending company before retiring, now frequently talks to others about his experience in the hope that it will encourage people to seek medical advice.
“I was speaking to one man who turned white as I started to talk about prostate cancer,” he said.
“My experience shows how dangerous it could have been to put things off and I hope men will feel encouraged to take that first step.”
Visit prostatecanceruk.org or call Prostate Cancer UK on 0800 074 8383 for advice and information.