Prostate cancer: Dr Hilary outlines signs and symptoms
Jacob Dunn, 34, from London, had very limited contact with his dad throughout his life.
However, he felt an impulse to get in touch with him on Father’s Day 2020 only to find out that his father had been diagnosed with cancer.
Jacob’s dad, Dennis Forbes, was suffering from advanced prostate cancer and sadly passed away three months after he got back in touch with his son.
Jacob is now keen to raise awareness of the deadly condition that targets one in four black men in their lifetime, which is double the risk of white men.
The 34-year-old said: “Although I hadn’t spoken to my father for a number of years, I had an impulse to get in touch with him on Father’s Day 2020.
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“Both my mother and I had suspected he might not be well for some time and once connected with him, he told me that he had prostate cancer.
“He played down the cancer on the phone, but very soon I realised it was fairly advanced.
“He, sadly, passed away three months later, strangely three months later to the exact day that I got in touch with him.”
Dennis was diagnosed with the daunting condition after experiencing troubling toilet symptoms, which is considered to be a tell-tale sign of prostate cancer.
Jacob explained that his dad was experiencing an urgent need to urinate, but difficulty peeing once he got to the loo.
“This, I know now, is a very common symptom and should not be ignored,” he said.
This led to the diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer in 2018, when the deadly condition travelled to the dad’s spine.
Jacob added: “By the time I was connected with my father, his cancer was quite advanced.
“He was immobile at this point and had a special hospital bed in his flat.
“He believed that he had injured one of his legs, however, it is my belief that the cancer had spread to his bones.”
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Sadly, Dennis’ cancer was one of the few conditions that can’t be treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy and he passed away in 2020.
Despite not being close to his dad prior to the diagnosis, this time was hard for Jacob.
He said: “I didn’t have the closest relationship with my father, nor did I have many memories of us together.
“But I felt an overwhelming sense of pity for how ill and out of control he was. Outside of the cancer, I felt sad for how his life had turned out.”
Not long after his dad passed, Jacob reached out to Prostate Cancer UK to see if he could volunteer within the Partnerships Department, as Partnerships is what he does for work.
He is now keen to raise awareness of the deadly condition, especially within the Black communities of London.
Jacob shared his dad’s story as a new study released by Prostate Cancer UK for its “What on Earth is a prostate?!” campaign highlighted the need for heightened efforts to educate men so they can understand their risk of the disease.
The risk for prostate cancer increases if you are aged over 50, Black and over 45, or have a family history of the deadly condition.
Worryingly, over 82 percent of men don’t realise that a man’s ethnicity increases the risk of prostate cancer, while more than half don’t know having a family history of it could also raise this risk.
You can find out if you have a higher risk of prostate cancer – and what you can do about it – by using Prostate Cancer UK’s 30-second online risk checker at prostatecanceruk.org/riskcheck.
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