Liverpool cancer survivor urges people to seek help if something doesn't fell right - The Guide Liverpool

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Liverpool cancer survivor urges people to seek help if something doesn’t fell right

04/07/2022

“I want to be around to see my kids and grandkids grow up.” – cancer survivor Mike speaks out about the importance of coming forward if something doesn’t feel right

62-year-old Mike Crowe from Liverpool has had quite a life but is now advocating people to come forward if they’re worried about cancer after beating it himself. Since then, he has been a tireless campaigner and, following the recent passing of cancer campaigner and podcaster Dame Deborah James, Mike sees it as more important than ever to break the stigma.

”I have always been very health conscious but for some reason I shied away from prostate cancer. My sister is a nurse at Manchester Royal Infirmary, and she said to get it checked.”

Mike, a customer relations advisor for BMW originally from Manchester, then went to his GP.

“I asked, ‘Is it worth having a check for this prostate thing?’ and he said ‘absolutely, get it done’. After a short examination he told me that my prostate is very small and sent me to Stepping Hill Hospital for further tests. Though it said my PSA was a little high, everything was fine but they told me to keep having the tests done to make sure it hadn’t got any worse.”

Mike regularly kept up with his checks until a few years later.

“It was higher than it had been so I was sent for a biopsy.”

Prostate cancer will affect one in eight white men in their lifetime but will affect one in four black men.

“When I was diagnosed, my consultant and a nurse were in the room but no smiles. I knew something wasn’t right. They told me the biopsies have come back and that I have prostate cancer. Everything just went blank. Everything he said after I wasn’t taking in properly. I stood up and felt weak.

“I never drank or smoked and in my head there was nothing I could have done better to prevent this. The next day I got up and told myself, ‘I can beat this’.”

Thankfully, due to Mike’s vigilance, they had caught the cancer early which meant there was a significantly better chance of recovery. It hadn’t yet spread and there were many options open to Mike. He opted for an operation and this was completed at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool. Mike was also able to get back on his feet within 8 days and back to his work and his passions, being a chauffeur, a musician and a producer on the weekends as well as his day job.

Mike has been cancer free ever since. While Mike puts this down to getting checks regularly, the message he wants to pass on is not to worry and see your GP if something doesn’t feel right.

“Nine in ten people that get checked for cancer don’t have it but just in case that is what you have, it is always, always better to know early. I wanted to see my eight kids and nine grandkids grow and I know you’ll feel the same way about the important things in your life. Don’t be worried, go and get checked. It’s just a simple blood test. Talk to your GP if there’s anything you’re not sure about, don’t bury your head in the sand. You don’t want to leave it too late.”

Michael Gregory, Medical Director for NHS England North West, said:

“Mike’s story and continuing work to raise awareness around cancer survival is incredible and we thank him for telling his story. We want to know about many, many more people being diagnosed with cancer earlier and the best way to do this is to see your GP as soon as you feel that something might be wrong or unusual in your body. Nine times out of ten it won’t be cancer but it’s always better to be sure to ensure you continue to live a longer life.”

A list of the signs and symptoms of cancer to look out for:

  • Tummy trouble, such as discomfort or diarrhoea for three weeks or more, or
  • Blood in your pee – even just once;
  • Unexpected or unexplained bleeding;
  • Unexplained pain that lasts three weeks or more;
  • An unexplained lump; or
  • A cough for three weeks or more (that isn’t COVID-19).
  • Other lesser-known signs and symptoms to prompt contact to your GP practice if experienced for three weeks or more include:
  • Unexplained weight loss;
  • Feeling tired and unwell and not sure why
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Unusual, pale or greasy poo

Get more advice and information about cancer on the NHS website HERE.

Get all of the latest news for Liverpool and beyond here.

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