Advanced prostate cancer risk assessment – John

John and his partner Charmaine
“I have the reassurance of knowing where I stand at the moment and of knowing that in future, there is good baseline data to work with in case things change. I know my PSA reading will go up as I get older, but with this baseline, it will be clear to see if there is a sudden inflection to indicate something is wrong.”
John, Birmingham Prostate Clinic patient

John, aged 61, came to Birmingham Prostate Clinic for a PSA test and prostate cancer symptoms risk assessment. He would traditionally have been given a biopsy, but improved diagnostic technology meant this was not necessary.

“I have had a PSA test every three or four years since the age of 52. I believe it is useful to have a baseline reading so you can understand how your PSA is behaving over time. I don’t worry about my health, but I have a background in oncology and know that if a problem develops, the sooner it is identified, the better your chances of it being sorted out.

“I saw Mr Doherty at the Birmingham Prostate Clinic who carried out a PSA test, digital rectal examination and ultrasound prostate scan. The scan showed my prostate was big – at 60 grams – and because of this, further investigations were needed.

“I had a PCA3 urine test, which came back negative, far below the threshold of prostate cancer risk. I also had an MRI scan of the prostate – a painless and efficient procedure which took an hour and provided really good assurance that there was nothing to worry about. From these two assessments, Mr Doherty told me that everything was looking good and there was no need for a biopsy.

“For me personally, it was very reassuring. It cleared any doubt I had in my mind and I felt very happy with the focus of Mr Doherty and the tests used. I wasn’t keen on a biopsy – not because of concerns about discomfort from the procedure but because biopsies can be so inaccurate. I liked the precision of the MRI scan.

“I have the reassurance of knowing where I stand at the moment and of knowing that in future, there is good baseline data to work with in case things change. I know my PSA reading will go up as I get older, but with this baseline, it will be clear to see if there is a sudden inflection to indicate something is wrong.

“It is not about worrying or causing anxiety but knowledge and information so it is possible to act quickly if things change.”