Rushed into hospital two years ago with a prostate infection, Rob Herrod didn’t know at the time this infection could be what saved his life.
Having routine check ups with his doctor ever since that day, it was this year that 57-year-old Rob found out his Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) level was high and he would need to have further tests.
“When I got out of the hospital after being treated for the prostate infection I felt fine. But weeks after my specialist told me that my PSA level was up and they would need to monitor it,” Rob shared.
“12 months went by and I went back to see my doctor to check my PSA and it was still quite high. I then had to have a MRI, where they picked up a few spots at the top of my prostate.
My doctor said it could be scarring from my infection or it could be cancerous.
“I then went in for a biopsy, which sure enough came back that I had prostate cancer. But lucky for me, it was confined to the prostate.”
Choosing not to dwell on his diagnosis, Rob took the advice of his specialist to have a robotic prostatectomy to remove his prostate and the cancer with it. It’s only thanks to advances in research over the last few years that this procedure is offered to men like Rob as a less invasive treatment option.
“When I first heard the words that I had cancer, I said, ‘me?’ That was a reality check, I’m a healthy man and I have cancer,” Rob said.
“But I knew at the end of the day that thanks to the dedicated work of researchers, prostate cancer treatment has come a long way.
“I went in for the over five hour operation and hardly had any pain afterwards and was able maintain that pain with anti-inflammatories. I was back at work after six weeks.
“Modern medicine is absolutely amazing, I can hardly see my scars and I only had the operation three or four months ago.”
Whilst Rob was one of the lucky ones to catch his prostate cancer early, many men aren’t as fortunate and sadly often find their cancer has spread by the time of diagnosis. At this point the cancer becomes harder to treat, which is why Australian Prostate Cancer is dedicated to supporting research into improving diagnostic methods and treatment for this heartbreaking disease.
Now back to work, Rob is cured of his prostate cancer and dedicated to sharing his story and supporting researchers in the hopes that more men can have a positive outcome like him in the future.
“I am so grateful for the research that saved my life,” Rob said.
“I went back to my doctor six weeks after the operation to have my PSA check and I heard the best news anyone could hear. My PSA level was unreadable, meaning there was no sign of PSA in my body.
“I was lucky that doctors caught my cancer in time before it had the chance to spread. But I know it’s quite common for men to not know they’re living with prostate cancer until it’s too late.
This is why it’s so important to spread awareness and support the researchers in the lab who are passionate and driven to find a cure.”
Will you support vital research to improve early detection and treatments for this terrible, and often silent disease, prostate cancer?
You can bring hope to so many men like Rob and their families. Donate today.