Kurt Jewson goes public in boxers to raise awareness about prostate cancer

February 4th 2016 ...in category Healthcare News

Last week Kurt Jewson, a personal friend, very bravely posted a picture of himself in his boxer shorts on Facebook, showing his catheter and colostomy bag.

A few days later the post had gone viral – it has now been shared 230,000 times and counting.

He shared the post, headed “Here I am in all my tubby, pale glory”, with his own friends in the hope that more men would spend five minutes familiarising themselves with the warning signs of prostate cancer.

Kurt-Jewson

Prostate cancer currently affects 1% of men under 50, but is becoming more prevalent in younger men and many are unaware of what to look out for. In fact overall one in eight men will develop prostate cancer. Kurt is only 44, and married to Lucy with two sons, Tom and Sam. He wishes he had known more about the warning signs.

Kurt’s message is a simple one: don’t ignore the symptoms of prostate cancer, go to see your GP.

“If I had known earlier,” he says, “then my treatment and prognosis would have been so different”.

The reality however is that early prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause any symptoms, and those it does can be vague. Symptoms such as urinary problems, can be mild and happen over many years.

Kurt presented to his own GP with blood in his urine during the summer of 2014. This is not a common symptom of prostate cancer and is more often associated with other health problems. At the time he was told it was probably an infection. By the time he finally had surgery in September 2015 the cancer was almost inoperable.

“If my GP had simply taken some blood and sent it off for a PSA test then we would have caught this cancer a lot earlier and at a more manageable stage”, he wrote in his Facebook post.

Kurt’s cancer was left to grow for another 12 months without anyone knowing. He has had a colostomy bag, catheter, septicaemia, hormone implants, visible scars and invisible scars.

He still has the catheter because it was leaking so wasn’t removed during his latest visit to London last week; he has to return next week. Kurt still faces more surgery, plus radio- and/or chemo-therapy.

Thank you Kurt for allowing us to share your story on the blog. On a personal note I think this was an incredibly brave thing to do and I look forward to seeing you in Cornwall in the spring - hopefully with your clothes on this time and without the catheter!

Watch this space for an interview with Kurt soon

About prostate cancer

(Source including infographic: www.prostatecanceruk.org)

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. Prostate cancer often grows slowly to start with and may never cause any problems. But some men have prostate cancer that is more likely to spread. This needs treatment to stop it spreading outside the prostate.

Prostate-Cancer

What is my risk?

Signs and symptoms

Prostate cancer that’s contained inside the prostate (called localised prostate cancer) doesn’t usually cause any symptoms. But some men may have some urinary problems. These may be mild and happen over many years.

Changes to look out for include:

  • needing to urinate more often than usual, including at night – for example if you often need to go again two hours
  • difficulty starting to urinate
  • straining or taking a long time to finish urinating
  • a weak flow when you urinate
  • a feeling that you’re not emptying your bladder fully
  • needing to rush to the toilet – sometimes leaking before you get there
  • dribbling urine after you finish.

For some men the first symptoms of prostate cancer might be new pain in the back, hips or pelvis. This can be caused by cancer that’s spread to the bones. These symptoms are often caused by other problems such as general aches or arthritis. But it’s still a good idea to get them checked out by your GP.

Most men with early prostate cancer don't have any symptoms.

Facts and figures

Across the UK:

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
  • Over 44,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that's more than 120 men every day.
  • Every hour one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 10,500 men every year.
  • 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • Over 330,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

Data

PC-Data-2


Secondary care data is taken from the English Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database produced by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC, www.hscic.gov.uk/hes) Copyright © 2010 - 2015, re-used with the permission of the Health & Social Care Information Centre. All rights reserved. 2014/15 HES data are provisional and may be incomplete or contain errors for which no adjustments have yet been made. Counts produced from provisional data are likely to be lower than those generated for the same period in the final dataset. This shortfall will be most pronounced in the final month of the latest period, e.g. September from the April to September extract. It is also probable that clinical data are not complete, which may in particular affect the last two months of any given period. There may also be errors due to coding inconsistencies that have not yet been investigated and corrected. ICD-10 codes, terms and text © World Health Organization, 1992-2012

About the Author


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