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The surgeon who removed my prostate back in early 2009 reckoned I could count myself probably clear if I went a decade without any signs the cancer had spread. 

So far as I know, it hasn’t. I have an annual PSA test and it’s always next to nothing, but since it never budged before I was diagnosed in late 2008 I don’t quite trust it as a sure sign. There are no other indications, however, so it all seems good.

I did get a heart scare over summer, but an exploration of my main arteries showed no sign of trouble. Turned out it was the result of a nasty virus. All good now.

My peeing is a bit slower sometimes, but I can still go eight hours of sleeping at night without having to get up for a visit to the loo. Unless I’ve had a few beers (but I’ve switched to low alcohol beer and don’t drink wine any more, so no problems there).

In terms of “performance”, everything works just fine (and a lot less messily, if you get my drift). I finally got used to the loss of a few centimetres.

At 71, I feel fit and well, and don’t ever think much about the lucky escape from prostate cancer. I hope plenty of readers of this blog have the same outcome.

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PROSTABLOG NZ: My last PSA test recently showed it continues to be undetectable, some 20 months after my surgery in March, 2009.

But I’m not getting cocky just yet (forgive the pun).

From what I’ve read about prostate cancer treatment, if the cancer bug has got out of the organ during/after a prostatectomy, there’s a good chance the first signs will come two years after the operation.

My two-year anniversary comes up in a couple of months – so wish me luck.

It’s interesting how long it takes to fully recover from the surgery’s effects.

My scar is virtually gone and I’ve felt fit for ages.

There’s no incontinence. I haven’t done the pelvic floor exercises for more than a year, but there’s never any problem with not being able to hold it in, even when I’m busting.

Not that I put myself in the busting mode if I can avoid it.

So, hey, no regrets and no real worries. I’m bloody lucky.

Well, there is one worry – the number of friends and people I know who have been diagnosed. Talk about an epidemic.

And I wonder if the NZ Parliamentary Health Select Committee will ever get round to reporting back on its prostate cancer inquiry…

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HEALTH NEWS TODAY: When combined with the erectile-dysfunction drug Viagra, a long-used chemotherapy drug called doxorubicin may be even more effective as a treatment for prostate cancer, according to a new study. READ MORE>

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URO TODAY: A more precise grading system is needed to predict men’s erectile function recovery after nerve-sparing prostate surgery, a study shows. READ MORE>

Our data support the adoption of a subjectively assigned nerve-sparing score to more precisely predict erectile function outcomes and suggest that even minor nerve trauma significantly impairs the recovery of erectile function after procedures classically regarded as having achieved bilateral nerve sparing.

Further studies are needed to identify the optimal nerve-sparing system.

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TV3 NEWS:  Most prostate operations should be replaced with kinder treatments because although surgery is a lifesaver, the side effects are dismal, says a visiting expert on prostate cancer who reckons the sex lives of New Zealand men are being ruined unnecessarily. READ MORE>

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SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: Many doctors play down the possible side effects of prostate cancer treatment on men’s sex lives, for fear they’ll be scared off, a world leader in the field has told an international conference on the Gold Coast. READ MORE>

And HERE>

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URO TODAY: Men undergoing prostate surgery have a higher risk of later developing a penis-deforming condition called Peyronie’s disease. READ MORE>

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