0.55 My Magic PSA Number

18 months after having my somewhat invasive Brachytherapy treatment for Prostate Cancer written about in earlier postings…and having certain levels of anxiety along the way I have been offered a discharge from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Which means I’m better…or as better as I will ever be.


I’m sure you will be relieved to know, this is not a selfie, but a picture taken from the Wikipedia Brachytherapy site…but I do have 66 of those little radioactive critters deep inside me…


This morning I went to see Andrew Styling the Senior Urologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital who is in charge of my case…he smiled and asked if I knew my numbers ( PSA Numbers )…I hadn’t been told my results by my GP after blood was taken last week, so was pretty darn chuffed when Andrew told me that my PSA number was down to 0.55, exactly half of my last count back in November 2017…and very very much down from the 6.7 PSA count when I went in to have the ‘op’ in the autumn of 2016.

Brian Prostae Happy Day 14 May 2018_BH8_5197.jpgA photograph of me by Nikki…’lookin’ pretty darn chuffed’

So, what is this PSA thingy, what’s the test and what does it show….The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test is NOT the be all and end all, it’s not the magic bullet…it’s an indicator, a bit of a red flag, if the numbers rise – then your GP should-must take this seriously and refer you to the Prostate Cancer experts…as far as I understand and from what I have gleaned over the past 20 months, the PSA numbers will give a decent indication if there is something wrong…if the PSA numbers stay static below a certain number, then that’s fine…but if they start to rise and go beyond the latest ‘Nice Guidelines’, then that’s the time to go for further examinations. I’ve been told that it’s not a reliable indicator and indeed some GP’s and practices still don’t see the need and almost actively discourage men of a certain age from having the PSA tests…all I do know is that it worked for me.  Here’s a link which explains in much more detail: https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/prostate-tests/psa-test

So, now Nikki and I can go away this year to Tuscany without the dreaded spectre of this eminently curable disease travelling along with us.

Brachytherapy and the wonderful Oncology and Urology team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital have saved my life…here’s a link to a far fuller explanation of what is involved on Wikipeadia…as long as the cancer is caught early enough…which means having regular  blood tests to determine you all important PSA numbers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachytherapy

So here’s the advert guys…go get your bloody PSA done…Prostate Cancer is one of the few cancers that can be cured…as long as you get there in time…there is no excuse !!!



About brianharrisphotographer

I have been an editorial photographer since 1969. After working for various 'Fleet Street' press agencies and local papers in the east end of London I joined The Times of London where I worked around the world until 1985. I joined The Independent Newspaper in London in 1986 and stayed with them until 1999. I'm still working as a photographer, generating my own story ideas which I sell to the international magazine market. I also contribute generic stock images to various photo libraries. I live near Cambridge in eastern England.
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