Bupa UK’s Jon Savage is a husband, a father-of-two, a grandfather-of-four and a survivor of prostate cancer. He regards himself as ‘lucky’ after a procedure for a common male health complaint revealed something more serious - prostate cancer. Here Jon shares his story as he takes on the Movember challenge for the fourth year to raise awareness of men’s health issues including prostate and testicular cancer, and mental health.
“The first symptom of something not being quite right was that my urine flow was not as strong as it used to be. As time went by this became more noticeable and the frequency of visiting the loo was increasing. I also started to have the occasional accident. After the fourth accident, I went to see the doctor.
When I went to see my GP, the ‘c’ word was not in my mind at all. I was 65 years old at the time, and I thought it was just an ‘old man’ issue. I was initially diagnosed as having an enlarged prostate. I wasn’t too worried - having an enlarged prostate does not necessarily mean you have cancer.
My consultant was very thorough and decided he wanted to do an MRI scan on my prostate for good measure – it was during those further tests that he found something. I had prostate cancer. That was a shock.
I was referred to another consultant who explained that it was quite fixable because the growth had been caught early on. Within four months of diagnosis I’d had my prostate removed – it was very quick. I was in hospital for two nights. The surgery itself wasn’t painful but I remember the journey home was unpleasant – I felt every bump in the road! After the surgery I went back for a check-up and was told I still had some cancerous lymph nodes present, so I underwent six weeks’ of radiotherapy.
I get checked every three months and remain all clear. I’m now a lot freer talking about prostate cancer and men’s health. If I hadn’t been through it I don’t think I’d find it as easy. I absolutely consider myself one of the ‘lucky’ ones. If I had not had the urinary problems my cancer would have gone undiscovered. So, I can’t stress enough how important it is to pay attention to any changes in your health and not to ignore it.
Due my experience with cancer, I champion Movember at Bupa and am delighted with the willingness of my colleagues, co-workers and CEO to get involved.”