Working in the pharmaceutical industry has had a great impact on my health consciousness. I started doing annual health screening around my mid-40s. My first prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test was done at 50 years old.
In 2013, my PSA levels started to rise above 4.0 ng/ml. As a result, I was under Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) medication for two years. However, the PSA levels continued to rise and a prostate biopsy was done as recommended by my urologist. I was diagnosed with localised prostate cancer.
I underwent robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) with minimal post-surgical side effects in a private hospital. My family members and caregivers played a pivotal role throughout this journey as patients sometimes undergo uncertainty and depression. It is good for immediate family members to be familiar with the disease once diagnosed as it will certainly affect the morale of each family member.
I always opt for a healthy diet that contains more vegetables and protein, with less red meats and less sugary drinks. I spend 1-2 hours a day every morning practicing Qigong walking to keep an active lifestyle. Taking good care of your own health goes a long way.
I am lucky to have my company insurance to cover the RARP cost. Many prostate cancer survivors suffered from financial catastrophe due to exorbitant medical costs.
Therefore, early detection of prostate cancer is the key to survivorship. I strongly encourage men at 50 years and above to perform yearly PSA testing. It is important for men to be proactive in taking care of their prostate health.