Brave grandpa talks about worrisome diagnosis despite no signs or symptoms

Grandpa shared his shock after being diagnosed with prostate cancer despite not showing any signs or symptoms.

Speaking boldly about his experience, Ray Pownall says he began to feel “out of his element” in the weeks before he was diagnosed, but suspected it could be due to diet-controlled diabetes.

He made an appointment with his GP, who confirmed he was having a “spike” of diabetes.

Ray’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were also found to be high on routine blood sugar tests, and the 78-year-old man was sent for additional tests. Just a few days later, he was diagnosed with stage III prostate cancer, which had spread to his bladder.

Ray was visiting family in Canada with his wife, Pat Stoneking, when he received the news, according to the Liverpool Echo, and the couple had to return to the UK early for the retired paramedic to begin treatment. Grandpa will have a scan next week, after which he will begin six to eight weeks of hormone therapy, followed by another four weeks of treatment.

Ray said the news came completely out of the blue as he had no signs or symptoms. He told Echo: “It was a complete shock. I had no idea. I’m in good shape for my age and I thought it might be a mixture of jet lag and my diabetes. UK and January 6th came to a consultant who said it was worse than they thought and that it had spread.”

He added: “I didn’t have any warning symptoms, so it came as a complete shock to me. I just recently found my family in the last few years and my wife contacted my sister in America and we learned that three of my four brothers had prostate problems and my father had. I should have told my sons here in England to get tested and both of them.”

Ray, who was born in Wiston, shares his story in hopes of raising awareness and encouraging others to get a prostate exam. He said, “I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t point my finger at it. It’s a silent killer, something that grows and you don’t know it’s there.

“All men over 50 should be tested, but if you have signs or symptoms, you may want to get tested sooner. Don’t put it off, this is a simple test, a bit embarrassing but important. If you leave it too late, it will spread. gets all of you.

“The second I open my eyes in the morning, it’s there, the word ‘cancer’ comes to my mind and it’s the last thing I think about before going to bed. He is with you 24/7. He will never leave, but you have to keep trying your best.”

Ray’s wife Pat has been posting updates on her social media to keep loved ones informed and raise awareness. Speaking about her cancer diagnosis, she said: “While it was a wonderful Christmas and New Year, this shockingly sad news hit the country hard. Ray is well known in the community, having been born in Wiston and spent his entire 78 years in and around St. Louis. Helen works as a paramedic for 40 of them and is now an avid wildlife photographer. For many of you this will be very sad news, your support and good wishes will help him in his battle.”

Prostate cancer

According to the NHS, prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so it may not show any signs for many years. Symptoms of prostate cancer usually do not appear until the prostate is large enough to infect the tube that carries urine out of the bladder from the penis (urethra).

When this happens, you may notice things like:

  • increased need to urinate
  • straining while pissing
  • Feeling like your bladder hasn’t emptied completely

The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown. But some things can increase your risk of developing this condition, such as your age and family history.

More information can be found on the NHS website here.

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