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Sir Ian Mckellen: I have been living with prostate cancer for years but it’s no big deal

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  1. Actually for anyone in Sir Ian’s position this is worth a watch: http://www.collegeofmedicine.org.uk/new-approaches-prostate-cancer – suggests that in a few years it should be possible to target early prostate cancer without waiting and then having major surgery. It’s just going through trials at the moment.

  2. That There Other David 11 Dec 2012, 10:46pm

    That is sad news. Not because I think he’s going anywhere, more that I wish someone like him wouldn’t have to worry about illness. I hope he beats it in the end.

  3. The problem in the UK is that NICE won’t allow the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test to be used as a screening tool. They say this is because the PSA test can give false negative results and false positive results and that NICE do not want to cause anguish to men who have a false positive test. However, as far as I am aware, there is no other similar test and many people do not have any symptoms whatsoever with prostate cancer so many prostate cancers are found too late. Sir Ian’s cancer has clearly been found at an early stage so close monitoring is appropriate and ultra-sound treatment may well be suitable as it can be for many men with early prostate cancer. But beyond early stages, certainly at present levels of knowledge, ultra-sound may not be suitable.

    1. The ultrasound system was called HI-FU and was in its early development when I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer 5 years ago. Although the PSA is said not to be accurate, I’m glad that I was able to take advantage of it, as my PSA went up from 4 to 7 on a steep curve over 6 months. I had a biopsy which gave a Gleeson score of 7 out of 10. Not good. So I opted for the Da Vinci Radical Prostatectomy. Not cheap in Australia ($20,000 including 2 nights in hospital). Just over 5 years down the track a PSA reading is undetectable.

      At the time I discovered my dilemma, a friend also had an equal score, and decided on ‘watchful waiting’ and did nothing. Today his whole body is riddled with cancer. Without the prostate you are kind of 10 years of age again -just hangin’ about- but you can still achieve a dry orgasm without being erect. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. It’s very much a personal choice. For me, its removal has given me another chance at life!

  4. Wellington Ferreira 12 Dec 2012, 12:00am

    I dram of a day when someone will be an actor, not the gay actor…

    1. Dave North 12 Dec 2012, 9:23am

      Only 1 dram a day?

    2. I’m proud he’s a Gay actor. Thee will always be Gay actors, black actors, Asian actors etc. The personal lives and family backgrounds of celebs will always fascinate. Anyway, I don’t believe Sir Ian is always described as Gay. It usually goes without saying now, thanks to his refreshing candour.

  5. theGentleWarrior 12 Dec 2012, 2:38am

    All our prayers and tides of goodwill are with you Ian

  6. Eddie Smith 8 Jan 2013, 8:02pm

    Its no big deal if you havent had treatment, but those who have it where it has spread, or those who have the treatment and now have the life changing side effects its a massive deal and for Gay and BiSexual men in the UK we have no support. I am 52 , Gay and living with ED and Incontinence with no support

    1. Could not agree more with this comment. There is not much fun being a gay man living with the after effects of prostate cancer surgery and radiation.

      I was diagnosed at age 49 operated on at 50, with radiation at 54. It virtually destroyed my sexual relationship with my partner, who is now my ex partner.

      Any new relationship is a challenge and, in 3 and a half years, I have not managed to overcome it yet. You get close to someone and then have to tell them about a chemically induced erection and that you will not be providing a sperm sample. If that is not a turn off then the fact that you may also involuntarily urinate a little is the clincher and it is “goodbye and thank” you time. I speak from bitter experience of the latter.

      The NHS is relatively unsympathetic to the gay mans cause. ED clinics are all geared up for straight men and the nurse I saw was a 55 year old spinster who knew very little about straight men’s problems let alone mine.

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