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My Prostate Cancer Story

By Lloyd Bantleman

Tuesday, January 12, 2016.

My diagnoses for Prostate Cancer hit me hard - mentally I wasn’t prepared.  I found it hard to sleep, concentrate and constantly felt anxious.

How can you plan for the future when you get the news that you have cancer, suddenly your life is hanging the balance. My family were devastated and frightened as we’ve had previous experience of prostate cancer after my father had it, so I knew it put me at higher risk of developing it at some point in my life but it still doesn’t prepare you for the shock of hearing, you have cancer.

The only symptoms I had for prostate cancer was urinating several times at night as well as a reduced flow. I was referred to the urologist where many gruelling tests were conducted such as: blood tests, MRI scan, CAT scan and a biopsy.

Once I knew the extent of my cancer I was offered and recommended surgery with a 5-6 week wait, I was told the operation would take four hours with recovery time of a few months. This for me is unrealistic as I couldn’t take months off work to recover, my job is incredibly demanding and needed my attention and the other part that put me off was the lifelong side-effects of urinal incontinence, erectile dysfunction and all the rest that comes with it.

As soon as I had my consultation with the specialist, I knew there had to be something else, the side effects of conventional treatment were too horrendous and the waiting time for surgery was a joke, especially since I might have needed further treatment following the removal and may have needed radiotherapy.

After five months of different tests and speaking to different specialist, I still felt confused about the treatments and I feel I was only advised about treatments that different specialists specialised in, not what was best for me, overall I was incredibly stressed from it all.

I remember seeing on the internet the story of ‘Ashya King’ and his family’s willingness to go against the NHS for proton therapy; I didn’t know if it was right for me but continued to research it anyway. The research proved to me it had been tried and tested in America and offered practically no side-effects.

My treatment lasted for 5 fractions and I honestly felt I was in a caring environment which exceeded my expectations, I didn’t really know what to expect but I never felt so cared for, relaxed and confident with the treatment once I met the team.

The best part of all the treatment was NO SIDE EFFECTS! My health now is excellent and in some cases it’s better than it was before. I can wake up in the morning confident and relaxed about my future, most of all my family is happy again. I can’t praise proton therapy enough and would highly recommend it.

Lloyd Bantleman is a prostate cancer survivor who lives in the North West. He has launched a new website  - http://comparecancertreatment.co.uk/ - that helps cancer sufferers find out their options more easily.

My Prostate Cancer Story

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