GP E-Module Case Study: Ian Norton

One strong advocate for the E-module is prostate cancer sufferer, Ian Norton.

Ian, 68, who currently works as a volunteer with the Awareness Team for Prostate Cymru, was diagnosed with prostate cancer following his introduction to the charity and increasing his awareness.

Prior to working with the charity, Ian, like most men, knew very little about the prostate or the diseases associated with it. Following some research, Ian decided to see his GP to have a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test and, after receiving high-test results back, he went for an MRI scan and biopsy. The results showed that Ian not only had an enlarged prostate (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia, or ‘BPH’ for short), but also early stage prostate cancer, which is now being actively monitored.

He now works as a volunteer with Prostate Cymru as part of their Awareness Team which hosts a number of educational men’s health awareness days to a range of different groups, including small and large-scale companies, various associations, round tables, rugby and football clubs, and many more.

Ian said: “I first found out about Prostate Cymru through a chance coffee catch-up meeting with the charity’s chief executive, Tina Tew. I have known her for more than 20 years and when she told me about the charity, I was really intrigued and happy to help. At first, I didn’t know very much about prostate cancer and the associated diseases, so I did some research and got myself checked out.

“I have always led a healthy and sporty life (I used to play a lot of rugby) and thought I was invincible, but then I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and reality kicked in with a very big boot. It was life changing, but I was lucky to have a great support system from my friends and family, and of course, Prostate Cymru.”

Since being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Ian has been a strong supporter and feels more needs to be done to help raise awareness.

He said: “Being diagnosed with the disease and learning more about it has made me proactive in raising awareness. It is quite alarming just how little people actually know about prostate diseases, and while there are websites that talk about it, there just isn’t much spotlight on it in the media, as much as other common cancers.

“There isn’t enough being done by medical practitioners and as the most common cancer diagnosed in men, it really should be a top priority like breast cancer is for women. You see women receive reminder letters for smear tests, or see big white vans parked in supermarket car-parks for breast cancer screenings, but you don’t get things like that for prostate cancer. I think it is so important that the Government and NHS start pushing for more awareness and make prostate cancer a priority today.

“On the other hand, although prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, it is still not being talked about by them. Men are either too macho or embarrassed to talk about things like this, which is why we need to raise awareness. We need to start the conversation by writing about it in the media and help the general public learn more about it. We need to help them realise it is an important issue. If prostate cancer is detected early, then the individual will have a very high chance of being cured. If they leave it too late, then the chances drop to less than 10 per cent.”

As a supporter of Prostate Cymru, Ian is very receptive to the launch of the charity’s E-module, which is a tool that will give GPs access to information about prostate diseases, including myths surrounding the disease, who is at risk, and how to test for and treat the disease most effectively. A similar portal will also be available for medical students and the public at a later date.

He said: “I think the launch of the E-module is such a great step forward for prostate cancer and diseases. The tool will help GPs and medical students learn more about the disease and its causes, and as a result they will know what to ask or look out for when men come in for check-ups.

“As a whole, we need more education on the subject and, if the E-module is available for everyone, then that is a great start to raising awareness and helping people understand more about the disease. What we need to do now is to push the E-module on different platforms and in the media, so people know about it and can use it.”

Stay Connected...

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Prostate Cymru