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Following a succession of men’s health promotions on TV, at the cinema or in newspapers, the switch finally clicked for retired Chartered Surveyor Stuart and he decided to get checked out for prostate cancer.
Initial tests led to a biopsy which showed there were some cancer cells in the vicinity of his prostate but, as they were a ‘less aggressive type’ he was placed on ‘watchful surveillance’.

(Stuart with his dog Toby)

But six months later a prostate-specific antigen PSA test showed the cells had multiplied and Stuart, who lives in Weymouth, needed treatment.
He explained: “I kept seeing all these campaigns urging men to get themselves checked out and I sort of thought ‘they wouldn’t be doing this without good reason’ so I booked in to see my GP. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done!”
After being told his options for treatment within the NHS, Stuart read an article about the trial of HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound.
He then decided to use his AVIVA health insurance and met with consultant urologist Mr Naveed Afzal at BMI Winterbourne Hospital in Herringston Road Dorchester.
“Mr Afzal explained the procedure and it appeared to offer a considerable reduction of the risks of undesirable side effects and decided that was what I wanted.”
Mr Afzal explained: “Although ultrasound has been used for medical imaging (such as ante-natal scans) for decades, HIFU is a new technique for treating prostate cancer.
“Instead of having to cut into the patient HIFU involves precision focused ultrasound waves which raise the temperature of the target tissue to 80-90°C in two to three seconds, effectively destroying the targeted cancerous tissues.”
The treatment required just one night in hospital and Stuart was ‘back to full fitness less than a week later.
Now the keen Lindy Hop dancer (a 1930's jitterbug style) is back on the dance floor and very keen that other men ‘get in step’ when it comes to being checked out.
“I am telling all my male friends that they should get themselves tested. Don’t ignore what the campaign messages are telling you – getting checked out could be a matter of life and death. I’m glad I got the message in time.
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