Friday, 16 September 2016

Never go back...

Never go back.  Never go back.
Never return to the haunts of your youth.
Keep to the track, to the beaten track,
Memory holds all you need of the truth.

Never look back.  Never look back.
Never succumb to the gorgon’s stare.
Keep to the track, to the beaten track,
No-one is waiting and nothing is there.

Never go back.  Never go back.
Never surrender the future you’ve earned.
Keep to the track, to the beaten track,
Never return to the bridges you burned.

Never look back.  Never look back.
Never retreat to the ‘glorious past’.
Keep to the track, to the beaten track,
Treat every day of your life as your last.

Never go back.  Never go back.
Never acknowledge the ghost on the stair.
Keep to the track, to the beaten track,
No-one is waiting and nothing is there.
Felix Dennis

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Reading this could save his life!

Delighted to have my article published in a Thai national women's magazine. As it's also on-line it should reach millions of people and help them to take early action if they suspect all might not be well...

Please contact me if you are worried or have any questions.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Surgery or radiotherapy?

After diagnosis, I'll never forget having to make the choice of treatment. It's not a choice that's made for you, you have to make it after talking to various specialists, researching on-line and talking to anyone who'll listen. Luckily, my cancer only gave a choice of those two treatments, there was too much of it for proton beam or brachia-therapy.

I decided, rather than have a radiated ball of 'gunk' hanging inside me, that cutting it out and dumping it in the hospital incinerator sounded cleaner and more permanent. I could then travel 300 miles home and have real distance between me and the problem.
So read this article from 'Prostate Cancer News', it may help your decision...
(But always remember, it's always cheaper for the health service to go with Radiotherapy, so when the specialist is pushing you in that direction, it's usually with £££ in their eyes)
Surgery is more effective than radiation therapy at treating localized prostate cancer and more likely to prolong the life of patients undergoing the procedure, according to results of a new study by Canadian researchers. The study, titled “Surgery Versus Radiotherapy for Clinically-localized Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” was published in the journal European Urology.
More than 90% of prostate cancer patients are diagnosed with localized cancer restricted to the prostate tissue. In such cases, the treatment is usually either surgery or radiotherapy, therapeutic choices that can vary among patients and clinicians. The main mode of detection is serum prostate-specific antigen testing.
In the present study, carried out at the Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Research Institute (University of Toronto), researchers performed a meta-analysis of 19 studies with low-to-moderate bias risk, involving up to 118,830 patients, to evaluate overall and prostate cancer-specific mortality among patients treated either with radiation (mostly external beam radiotherapy) or radical prostatectomy. This surgical procedure consists of the complete removal of the prostate. Robotic prostatectomy also, according to a press release on the study by prostate cancer surgeon Dr. David Samadiallows for better staging and grading of the prostate tumor and is associated with a better quality of life post-treatment.
The studies came primarily from a search of Medline, EMBASE (a biomedical literature database), and the Cochrane Library through June 2015.
From the analyses, researchers found that, when looking at cancer-specific mortality, patients who were treated with radiotherapy were twice as likely to die as patients who underwent surgery. Analyses of studies evaluating overall mortality further indicated that patients treated with radiotherapy were about 1.5 times more likely to die earlier than those treated with surgery.
The results, the researchers say, show that surgery for the treatment of localized prostate cancer is more effective and offers a better long-term prognosis than radiation therapy.
“In the past, studies that have compared the success rates of surgery or radiation have been confusing because of their methods. We have evaluated all the good-quality data comparing surgery and radiotherapy, and the results are pretty conclusive; in general, surgery results in better mortality rates than radiotherapy,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Robert Nam.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Radium 223 for targeting prostate cancer

I hope this is at least some good news to many of my friends out there who are constantly looking for ways to steer their destiny in another direction.
A radioactive drug, similar to that which killed Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko has been approved as a treatment for prostate cancer on the NHS.
Radium-223 is a powerful drug based on a mildly radioactive form of the metal radium. Given as an infusion into the bloodstream, it is taken up by bones and can specifically target tumours through alpha particles.
Infusions are typically given once a month, for up to six months. The drugs emit the same type of radiation as polonium-210 which was used to assassinate former Russia spy Alexander Litvinenko, due to its ability to destroy tissues and organs. However, despite this, when used in a controlled manner, the same capabilities can be used to specifically target cancers.
The health regulation authority NICE has announced prostate cancer patients will now be able to access the drug on a routine basis. It has previously only been recommended for patients who had received initial treatment alongside an additional medicine, docetaxel. Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, said: “I'm pleased we have been able to broaden our recommendations for radium-223. Patients with prostate cancer will surely benefit from this drug being available for routine NHS use. I hope we’ll see more drugs like this move into routine NHS use after companies have been able to better demonstrate cost-effectiveness.”

Monday, 15 August 2016

Vitamin D and prostate cancer

Supplements are usually a great thing for everyone, especially for patients with specific diseases such as prostate cancer. Not all supplements are right for every person since each patient, disease, and individual are different, but vitamin D tends to bring benefit to whoever takes it.
Vitamin D is one of the easiest vitamins we can get access to, and for free since it comes from the sun. But even when the sun shines, some places in the world have less access to it than others, which can explain why in some places, prostate cancer develops more often than in others. To understand better the benefits of vitamin D, watch this video shared by the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, where you can listen to Dr. Charles Myers, a medical oncologist and prostate cancer patient, talk about the use of vitamin D, how patients can benefit from it and how its deficiency can worsen patients’ health condition.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Appeal for help

Many of you will have heard of a type of prostate cancer that is resistant to hormone therapy. A drug called 'Enzalutamide' is often a successful tool in cases like this. But if that drug fails, what are the alternatives?  
I'm hoping there may be recent research by experts out there who can answer this question. Please get in touch via this blog, on any of the contact details on the home page, I'd be most grateful. 
Many thanks, Daniel

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Test for inherited risk...

Men with advanced prostate cancer could be checked for high-risk family genes because they are fairly common, affect treatment and can be passed on to their children, say experts.

According to the international researchers, more than one in every 10 men with the advanced disease carries a faulty gene, inherited from a parent. 
One of the genes is BRCA1 - already linked to breast and ovarian cancer. 
The study, in the journal NEJM, is the largest of its kind to date.
It included nearly 700 patients with aggressive prostate cancer and found that a "significant proportion" of these men are born with mutant DNA.
Men with these genes may benefit from newer drug treatments that exploit the damaged genetic code to locate and kill off cancer cells. 

Inherited risk

One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime - that is 47,000 men diagnosed with the disease every year in the UK. 
Some prostate tumours are very slow growing and may never cause any symptoms or harm. Others - about a third - are faster growing and can be lethal. 
Researchers have been looking for ways to better recognise which cancers will be more problematic and they believe looking at a person's genes could help. 
Prof Johann de Bono, from London's Institute of Cancer Research, and colleagues used a saliva test to check the DNA of the 692 men with advanced prostate cancer who took part in their study. 
About 12% of the men were found to have inherited DNA mutations that the experts say could be the root cause of their cancer.

DNAImage copyrightTHINKSTOCK

Prof de Bono believes identifying patients in this way could improve treatment. 
"We could offer these men drugs such as PARP inhibitors, which are effective in patients with certain DNA repair mutations and are showing important anti-tumour activity in ongoing clinical trials."
He said it was too early to recommend screening whole families for the mutations, but that might be sensible in the future. 
"As doctors, we all know patients who say their father and grandfather had this cancer. 
"We need to do trials to evaluate this risk. Then we could look at preventive strategies."
He said if the risk was high then maybe the men at greatest risk could consider having their prostate removed as a precaution.
He pointed out that doctors already do similar preventive surgery for breast and ovarian cancer linked to the BRCA genes. 
But he cautioned that it was still early days - more studies are needed to assess this.
Dr Iain Frame of Prostate Cancer UK agreed, saying: "In future testing all men with advanced disease for these mutations might help select the most effective treatments for them. 
"However, there's still a lot of work to do to see how this could be done in a routine clinical setting, and to consider the consequences for men and their families."
Dr Imran Ahmad from Cancer Research UK said: "As the cost falls, the cancer sequencing approach used in this study will become more and more relevant, making it possible to routinely examine all men with advanced prostate cancer for inherited mutations."

Do we like other European Nationals?

Our Meet-Up group in Bangkok now has over 600 members, and I couldn’t begin to count the different nationalities contained in the group. It’s like being at a UN meeting when we have our weekly lunches, and what a pleasure to be with some of the friendliest, most lovely people I've ever met.

When the UK voted by a majority to leave the European Union, many of our group saw it as a signal that people in the UK must dislike people in other parts of Europe. 
This couldn’t be further from the truth, and I’d like to explain...

For a long time now, there has been a growing resentment of our own ruling class. They listen to the wealthy, the banks and big business, but increasingly show a marked disrespect, even contempt for ordinary people. Whichever of the two main parties are in power, Labour or Conservative, it's made no difference, because whoever is in power, the same people are permanently in control at the very top. We do not live in a real democracy, just a carefully contrived system that gives an illusion of democracy. The BBC and other media are used as tools to ensure this ‘status quo’ is never broken, and for decades have been successful.

At last, the majority of people see through this, as they do right across Europe, and we are about to see massive change. So when we voted against Europe, it was a vote against this ‘ruling class’ who run everything for their own benefit. We wanted 'change' and would have voted for Mickey Mouse rather than these wealthy bureaucrats and their paymasters. They wanted us to stay in the EU, the only way we could reject them, was to vote ‘out’.  My guess is that the same scenario is developing in the USA, where so many people hate the current system, they will soon vote in Donald Trump as President. They just want ‘change’, at any cost, not more of the same.

The UK media are currently absorbed in destroying the reputation of Jeremy Corbyn, a great man of sound morals, not on the side of the banks and big business, but a man of the people who is standing his ground. If they succeed, then nothing will change and we'll go on with the same corrupt system, delivering to the rich while taking from the rest.

Everyone I know in the UK and Ireland, love the people of Europe and indeed, people of the World. We are a multicultural tolerant society who welcome people from around the World, and the UK is a special place to live because of that. Please don't judge us by our politicians and our broken system, we are trying to fix it. 

This man puts it far better than I ever could....

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

BEWARE! Your choice, surgery or radiotherapy, is about to disappear...

When diagnosed with localised prostate cancer, if the cancer is low grade and still well contained, you may be offered other treatment, such as brachytherapy or even just watchful waiting, to see how things progress.

However, if treatment is recommended because the cancer is starting to become well established, there are usually two choices on offer, surgery or radiotherapy.
After talking to the specialists involved, only you can make that choice, nobody makes it for you. The outcomes are roughly the same and each has its equal share of advantages/disadvantages, so it's no easy choice. 
I opted for surgery, simply because I wanted to leave my cancer in a 'bin' at the hospital and not carry it around in my body as a dead radiated lump. It seemed cleaner, I have no regrets.
Surgery costs around £30,000 and radiation, less than a third of that price. 
I'm now wondering, with the NHS run extensively by accountants, if there will soon be only one choice, and this is how we are being sold it.
What do you think?

Read this from the BBC today...

Hard-and-fast prostate radiotherapy 'a win-win for NHS'

  • The NHS could save money and patients' time by giving fewer but 
    stronger doses of radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer, say experts.
The UK doctors told the Lancet Oncology there was now enough proof the hard-and-fast treatment worked just as well and did not cause more side-effects. 
For a patient, the new regime would mean 17 fewer trips to hospital. 
Nationally, it would free more than 150,000 visits, saving the NHS tens of millions of pounds each year.
Prostate cancer makes up more than a quarter of the workload of UK radiotherapy departments, and many cancer centres are already making savings by following the new regime.
Prof David Dearnaley and his team, from the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital, say others should do the same.


They estimate about 10,000 men a year could benefit from the new treatment regime.
The treatment is given over four weeks instead of seven and a half, and uses higher doses of radiation to zap the prostate gland and kill the cancer. 
Studies in thousands of men suggest giving 20 high doses for a month is as effective as giving 37 standard doses over two months. 
Prof Dearnaley said: "There are no losers with this. Everybody wins - the NHS and patients."
The work was part-funded by the Department of Health and Cancer Research U.K.
Prof Arnie Purushotham, of Cancer Research UK, said: "It is clear that this is safe and effective, so it is now up to the NHS to ensure all men who are suitable are offered this treatment immediately."

Friday, 17 June 2016

Good news for future treatment...

Laser that can zap prostate tumours: Pioneering therapy could stop thousands of men needing surgery 

  • Technology 'fuses' MRI scanner with ultrasound to identify diseased cells
  • A precisely targeted laser fibre is then heated up to annihilate them
  • Expert says procedure is 'akin to a lumpectomy for breast cancer' 

A pioneering therapy using high powered laser beams may cure prostate cancer, according to research.
The sci-fi style technology doesn't require surgery and has already been successful in zapping the tumours of 19 men.
It 'fuses' an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner with ultrasound to identify diseased cells. A precisely targeted laser fibre is then heated up to annihilate them.
A pioneering therapy using high powered laser beams may cure prostate cancer, according to research (stock image)
A pioneering therapy using high powered laser beams may cure prostate cancer, according to research (stock image)

Urologist Professor Leonard Marks, of the University of California, Los Angeles, said: 'Our feeling was if you can see prostate cancer using the fusion MRI and can put a needle in the spot to biopsy it, why not stick a laser fibre in the tumour the same way to kill it.
'This is akin to a lumpectomy for breast cancer.
'Instead of removing the whole organ, target just the cancer inside it.
'What we are doing with prostate cancer now is like using a sledgehammer to kill a flea.'
The technique, called focal laser ablation, was first used on eight participants by guiding the laser fibre into the cancerous tissue just with MRI.

Six months later there were no serious side effects or changes in urinary or sexual function.

A follow up study involving eleven subjects then showed the clinical potential of the therapy using a machine known as Artemis that combines both MRI and ultrasound.
The procedure was well tolerated under local anaesthetic, after four months, they have also had no problems.
Prof Marks said if the laser treatment proves effective in further studies it could mean thousands of men avoiding surgery and radiation, which can result in erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
The sci-fi style technology doesn't require surgery and has already been successful in zapping the tumours of 19 men (stock image)
The sci-fi style technology doesn't require surgery and has already been successful in zapping the tumours of 19 men (stock image)
Up until now, capturing an image of a prostate cancer has been difficult because the healthy and tumour tissue appear so similar.
Accurate non invasive treatment has proved difficult as a result.
The new fusion imaging method provides real time ultrasound that more clearly delineates the tumour.
It has already proved successful at performing biopsies in difficult to diagnose prostate cancers.
Such biopsies are usually 'blind,' meaning physicians take a tissue sample based on what they believe is the location of a possible tumour.
The researchers say they have proved in principle laser ablation can be done safely and effectively with MRI, although longer term follow-up is needed as well as continued assessment to ensure cure,
Prof Marks said: 'This focal therapy provides a middle ground for men to choose between radical prostatectomy and active surveillance, between doing nothing and losing the prostate.
'This is a new and exciting concept for prostate cancer treatment.'
The laser treatment is not yet approved for use in prostate cancer by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Added Prof Marks: 'I think we were so successful in this effort because of the experience we gained doing the targeted biopsies.
'That allowed us to go from biopsy to treatment.'
The first study has been published in the Journal of Urology, while the second was presented at the American Urology Association meeting in San Diego.

Read more:

Monday, 13 June 2016

The 90 day challenge! Did I make it?

But feeling stronger....

It was day 61 when I decided to jump ship.

It wasn't a desire to drink, that had gone after the first month. 

So what was it?
The numbers game was doing my head in, 43 days, 51 days, 55 days, who cares? I didn't get into it for that reason, I wanted to change my relationship with alcohol, and at 60 days, I had. My daughter Chantal said, I could claim success when I no longer talked about it, when it was no longer a 'big deal'. With a countdown number arriving every day, I couldn't stop thinking/talking about it, but now I can.  Would any other changes have occurred in my mind, had I stayed on to 90 days? It's possible, my guess would be yes, but I was delighted with what 60 days brought. It showed me a far better life outside the 'cloud' that all regular drinkers are mainly unaware of. You can only become aware of that 'cloud' when you've been off drink for at least a month. 

It's so worth anyone trying the 30 day challenge, just to feel how amazing even a month off the booze can be. 

So now, I'm about a stone and a half lighter, I've a clear mind every day and saved a lot of money. I never, ever drink Sunday to Thursday, and IF I drink on Friday or Saturday, it's a very small amount. I went to a party at the British Club on the weekend, and watched the Australia v England rugby, with some very 'shit faced' fans, while I happily drank water and lemon soda. I'm sure I look healthier, I've got so much more energy and I sleep like a stone; I'm happy with that. I'd like to think I can stay on board with the OYNB crew because you've got it so right guys. In the next 365 days, I may drink on 50 or 60 of those, that's a big drop from 365.

Join up here to experience a better life...

Sunday, 5 June 2016

"I've made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven't lived in vain."

His daughter said this morning that when he died, all his major organs had failed, but it took 30 minutes for his heart to stop. Guess that didn't surprise any of us.

I was the only one in the room with my Father when he died, and it was exactly the same; he just wouldn't stop living. He'd been in a coma all day, and I'd sat with him, occasionally nodding into sleep. A few hours before he died, he raised his hand and gave me a thumbs-up sign. The doctors had to stop his heart to let him go, and that was a relief for both of us, as at last he could rest. 

My earliest memories are sitting and listening to the legendary (Cassius Clay) fights on the radio, and it was also these rare occasion that my dad would sit with me; maybe because we only had one radio! Boy did he love those fights, he would punch the air as he listened and even smile sometimes. It was great to have that in common and to share rare moments that seemed to melt the ice that was always there.

I feel very sad at the passing of Mohammad Ali, a link to my childhood never to be forgotten. Wish I could travel back in time and listen to that radio again.


Prostate cancer aggression 'linked to waist size'

 Prostate cancer cell

Image captionNearly 11,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK every year

Men with larger waistlines could be at higher risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, a study has suggested.
Research on 140,000 men from eight European countries found that a 4in (10cm) larger waist circumference could increase the chances of getting the cancer by 13%.
Men were most at risk when their waist was bigger than 37in (94cm), the University of Oxford study found.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
The study, which was presented at the European Obesity Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, looked at the association between body measurements in men in their 50s and prostate cancer risk over 14 years.
In that time, there were about 7,000 cases of prostate cancer, of which 934 were fatal. 
The researchers found that men with a higher body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference had an increased risk of high grade prostate cancer, an aggressive form of the disease.
For example, men with a waist size of 37in (94cm) had a 13% higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer than men with a waist of 33in (84cm).
Scientists also observed a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer with increased BMI and increased waist circumference.
NHS Choices says there is a higher risk of health problems for men with a waist size of more than 94cm (37in) and for women of more than 80cm (31.5in).

Prostate cancer facts

  • About 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK
  • More than 10,800 men die from it every year in the UK
  • One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 330,000 men are living with or after prostate cancer
Source: Prostate Cancer UK

Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford said the study showed that the association between body size and prostate cancer was complex and varied by disease aggressiveness.
She said it was likely to be down to cancer-causing hormones in fat cells, but this had not yet been proven.
Her advice was that "men should try to maintain a healthy weight and if possible lose weight around their waist".
But she added that the study had not specifically looked at the impact of losing weight on prostate cancer risk.
A spokesman for Prostate Cancer UK said: "Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active can protect against many diseases, including cancer.
"This research adds to a growing body of evidence that shows that weight and waist size could be another crucial risk factor for men to be aware of when it comes to protecting themselves against prostate cancer."
Thea Cunningham, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said more research was need to get a clearer picture of the link.
"It isn't clear whether excess weight itself is causing men to develop aggressive prostate cancers, or if prostate cancers are less likely to be picked up at an early stage in overweight men, meaning their prostate cancer may be aggressive or advanced by the time it is diagnosed.
She added: "Keeping a healthy weight can help men reduce their risk of several other cancers including bowel cancer."

Monday, 30 May 2016

You will never ever share those particular dreams again...

However it ends, whether through death, divorce, or the destruction of the relationship, there is such a sad sense of loss! Everything you've safely known is stripped away. You are left empty, raw, thin, and vulnerable! Even if you were ready to go, or kindly let the beloved go, the departure mangles and angers you. 
Yet, somewhere in the mess of the dividing asunder of souls and spirits, there is gratitude and celebration that for a time you collaborated as joint artists. There is sacredness in memory of the special dreams and understandings once unveiled in succulent and intimate ways. There is also a hope that hope itself will begin to heal and fill the emptiness spaces. Not as before, never as it was, but with new colors, a new palette of dreams, and possibilities of unfolding previously uncharted scapes. 
You sense that you'll slowly pick up your brush again. You will bravely stand silent in front of an intimidatingly large and empty canvas. You'll wait for the slightest soul-stirring to possess your heart and hands and move them into action! 
The first stroke will be the hardest, but assuredly the most freeing! 
Suddenly, you'll begin to think in colors you forgot were possible! 
“One of the difficulties of leaving a relationship is not so much leaving the person themselves - because by that time, you’re ready to go. What’s difficult is leaving the dreams that you shared together. And you know that somehow, no matter who you meet in your life in the future, and no matter what species of happiness you will share with them, you will never ever share those particular dreams again, with that particular tonality and coloration. And so there’s a lovely and powerful form of grief there that is the ultimate in giving away, but making space for another form of re-imagination.” -- David Whyte

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Healthline's top prostate cancer blogs 2016/17

I would like to thank Healthline for once again choosing my blog, to be amongst the top prostate cancer blogs of 2016/17. 
When you consider how many blogs there are out there, this is really something I'm proud of. The other 10 selected blogs are all amazing reading in their own way, and in the world of prostate cancer, there's is something for everyone.

Take a look at the other blogs...

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Could this dramatically reduce the amount of prostate biopsies?


Exclusive! 3D ultrasound, US/MR image elastic fusion and Organ-Based Tracking® are combined into a single, easy to use platform that enables physicians to control prostate biopsy precision and quality in order to bring personalized answers to every patient.
At the convergence of urology and radiology, TRINITY® is a premium performance mobile ultrasound imaging system used to assist every prostate biopsy procedure with 3D imaging, prostate mapping, and intraoperative image fusion capabilities within the usual clinical routine.
Its optimal ergonomics with respect to workflow and tactile interface make it the ideal assistant to urologists for the development of an innovative clinical program for prostate cancer management.

3D Prostate Suite includes Promap-US, Promap-MR and Promap-2L