Hunch saved Alan

Hunch saved Alan

He felt like something was off — and he acted on it.

This article was published in the Albany Advertiser on 17 September 2019.

It was just a hunch, but it probably saved Alan Horton’s life.

The Albany man had followed the health guidelines and had his routine prostate checks every two years since the age of 50.

But after one of those checks that he felt like something was off — and he acted on it.

He has shared his experience as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

“I was peeing more than usual and having to go more urgently and basically just not feeling quite right in the urinary tract area,” he said. “I felt something just wasn’t quite right so I got my doctor to get me another blood test for PSA (prostate-specific antigen).”

The blood test led to a biopsy and a cancer diagnosis.

Mr Horton, pictured, had an aggressive cancer which required partial removal and radiation therapy.

Two years later, he is in good health and looking forward to living out a full life with his children and grandchildren.

Mr Horton said early detection was the key.

“Put it this way, if I had left it another 12 months, I’d be staring down the barrel of another two years of life,” he said.

“It was a very aggressive cancer and it would have spread very quickly from the prostate into the rest of my body.”

Cancer Council WA Great Southern spokesman Bruce Beamish said it was vital men saw their doctor if they noticed unusual symptoms.

“Common symptoms of prostate cancer include waking frequently at night to pee, a sudden or urgent need to pee, difficulty controlling the bladder or the bladder not feeling empty after peeing,” Mr Beamish said.

“If you have had any of these symptoms for more than four weeks or you’ve noticed blood in your pee or semen even just once, tell your doctor, clinic nurse or Aboriginal health worker as soon as possible.

“It doesn’t mean you’ve got prostate cancer — often it turns out to be something far less serious and your doctor may be able to help.”

An estimated one in eight Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.