AN Aberaeron weatherman has spoken of his cancer diagnosis in a bid to raise awareness and get men to be more proactive.
Chris Jones, former weather presenter for S4C, was 53 when he was diagnosed with early- stage prostate cancer.
He explained: “I was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate in 2015 after having symptoms like urinating frequently and with urgency, weak flow and I had blood in the urine too and several water retention episodes.
“I had my prostate cancer diagnosis three years later in 2018 – it’s now actively monitored with regular PSA tests and MRI scans and I tell my story because I want to do what I can to encourage others to go and get a test.
“We need men to be more proactive and to spread the word to others as prostate cancer is the biggest cancer death in men.”
Mr Jones is an ambassador for Prostate Cymru, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this week.
To mark the occasion, the charity will be unveiling a specially commissioned piece of artwork at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff.
The aim is to raise awareness and to reinforce the message that it is not an “old man’s disease”. Made up of small images, sent in by those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, those working on the frontline to improve services for men in Wales and those who have raised vital funds, the artwork highlights the risk of developing prostate cancer rises rapidly after the age of 50.
Significant work has been achieved since the charity was set up in 2003. Following a petition from Prostate Cymru, the Welsh Government agreed to fund the £2.5 million Da Vinci robot through its Health Technology fund and with assistance from Cardiff University. Prostate Cymru has funded the training of surgeons in the use of the equipment which has helped hundreds of patients since it was installed in 2014.
But Tina Tew, CEO of Prostate Cymru, says there is much more to do, saying: “Prostate cancer is still the most common cancer in men in Wales with one in eight men developing it.
"And there is still this misconception that this disease only affects old men and it simply isn’t the case.
"We need more men to understand their risk and get themselves tested, particularly as prostate cancer doesn’t usually show any symptoms in its early stages. If you’re at higher risk, which includes all men over the age of 50, we urge you to speak to your GP and get tested.”
In celebrating the landmark, Prostate Cymru has also revealed future plans which include a new outreach programme. A mobile vehicle, manned by specialist cancer nurses, will be on hand to provide support and advice.