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Michael Parkinson health: Diagnosis came as a ‘great shock’ – the symptoms to look out for

Bill Turnbull urges men to ‘press your GP’ on prostate cancer

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The 86 year-old veteran chat show host who made a name for himself on the BBC and ITV asking the questions we all want to hear. In a rare appearance on Wednesday morning’s Lorraine with Christine Lampard he talked about his 50-year anniversary documentary, viewers were shocked by his elderly appearance- creating concerns about his health.

Michael has battled many demons, but perhaps the most troubling came when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In an interview back in 2013 when he received the diagnosis he told Press Association: “It was a great shock, but I have been told to expect to make a full recovery.

“The cancer specialist said: ‘I will assure you, you will not die of this. I am concerned about it, of course, but I am not frightened of it.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the UK for men.

Usually it develops slowly so symptoms don’t often occur for years.

When symptoms do begin to appear they may include:

  • An increased need to pee
  • Straining while you pee
  • A feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied.

The NHS warns, although these symptoms do not necessarily point to prostate cancer, they should not be ignored.

The older you get, the more likely your chances of developing the disease are.

Similarly to other cancers, if there is a family history of the disease the risk is increased.

Michael, who received a knighthood in 2008 for his services to journalism had to go through an operation and radiotherapy to rid the illness.

In an interview he said: “When I look back at what happened, my treatment and aftercare was fabulous but the one thing that did bother me was I felt I was left to find out about what the consequences might be by myself.”

Although side effects are different for each individual, sometimes men can experience bowel, urinary and sexual problems after receiving radiotherapy.

Michael added: “I was lucky and got an early diagnosis of prostate cancer from a blood test and got it sorted out.”

After two years of treatment, the presenter was given the all year in 2015.

If you are worried or suspect you might have prostate cancer, the GP can do a PSA test.

PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen- raised levels could indicate prostate cancer.

If levels are raised you may be offered an MRI scan to help doctors decide whether further tests or treatment is needed.

Despite it being the most common cancer found in men, it has a high 78 percent survival rate according to Cancer Research UK.

This has tripled in the last 40 years.

In the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, most cancer patients reported positive experiences of cancer care.

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  • Posted on August 28, 2021