Balclutha man Wayne Eyles knows the last thing anyone should do is shy away from a possibly ‘‘awkward’’ conversation when it could mean life or death.
Mr Eyles was familiar with getting his Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test every year to keep on top of another generic bodily aspect, but when he was informed he had rising levels, he wasn’t sure what to think.
‘‘The doctor referred me to urology who then followed up with a biopsy.
‘‘The test was inconclusive, so it was a waiting game of the unknown,’’ he said.
He then got a call three months later for another biopsy where it was confirmed he did, in fact, have prostate cancer, only one week after his second test.
‘‘It was such a shock to be walking into an office knowing nothing and smiling, and walking out with a Cancer Society booklet in my hand and a head swirling with information and thoughts.
‘‘I didn’t know what to think at first, but I had to accept the fact that I had cancer and I aimed to move forward.’’
Mr Eyles got keyhole surgery in Invercargill Hospital where his prostate was removed.
He spent three nights in the hospital and eight weeks off of work, which halted any endeavours for him. ‘‘I opted for complete removal of the prostate so I could have radiation up my sleeve if anything was to happen. ‘‘I was told I could blast it with radiation straight away and zap it out, but apparently you can only do that once.
‘‘There’s also the possibility of the cancer returning, so removing everything seemed like the best bet to me,’’ he said. He now goes for blood tests at the hospital every three months to monitor how it has been tracking along. ‘‘Side effects can be ever lasting and never ending. Not just for you, but for your friends and family that surround you,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m grateful to be around to talk about my story because I know plenty of others who didn’t get that chance.’’ When asked to offer advice, Mr Eyles said nothing is too personal. ‘‘It’s always better to talk about irregularities. Nothing is too personal, especially when it involves your health and wellbeing.
‘‘Have yearly blood tests, be vocal with your peers, talk to professionals and make others comfortable with talking about it. It’s scary but it isn’t off limits. If you feel like something is off, get it checked out.’’
Visit prostate.org.nz for more information and go to your doctor to get a check up this Blue September.
› I opted for complete removal of the prostate so I could have radiation up my sleeve if anything was to happen. I was told I could blast it with radiation straight away and zap it out, but apparently you can only do that once. There’s also the possibility of the cancer returning, so removing everything seemed like the best bet to me. ›