Please go and get tested, guys
Sufferer urges testing for prostate cancerGEORGINA STYLIANOU
Danny Bedingfield took part in Movember in honour of his father, who died of prostate cancer this year.
But, at 38, the Christchurch man did not expect to end up fighting the same battle.
While raising money for the annual awareness campaign Bedingfield was diagnosed with prostate cancer and last week had surgery to have his prostate removed.
"I've always been a really positive person so I wasn't going to let this beat me," he said.
Bedingfield's father, Phil, was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 65 and his five-year battle came to an end in January.
In order to "keep Mum happy" Bedingfield went to his GP for a blood test that showed higher prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels than normal.
Six months later he returned for another test and was referred to a specialist for a biopsy which confirmed the diagnosis - one day before his 38th birthday.
"People associate prostate cancer as something that affects much older men . . . not someone my age."
He wanted to tell his story to encourage men to get tested regularly, as a simple blood test "can save your life".
Bedingfield has raised more than $3500 through Movember and would continue "rocking a pretty serious handlebar" until December 10, when fundraising closes.
One of the hardest things was telling his mother he had been diagnosed with the same disease that killed her husband.
"I know it was really hard for her to see me in hospital going through the same things that Dad went through."
Incontinence and impotence were the most common side-effects of prostate removal, he said.
"Not having control of my bladder and not having a normal sex life is not OK at 38."
But it's not all bad news, he said.
He was able to have less invasive surgery - known as a robotic radical prostatectomy - that reduces the likelihood of nerve damage and subsequent side-effects.
Bedingfield was still recovering from surgery and further tests would determine whether or not he had "beaten this thing". "I'm feeling good about it though."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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