Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor is hoping to break down the stigma surrounding prostate cancer by encouraging men to be aware of the symptoms and get tested.
The 62-year-old guitarist was diagnosed in 2018 with stage-four prostate cancer, which he has now revealed as “asymptomatic” following him being classified previously as needing “palliative, end-of-life care”.
Speaking to Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2 he explained that he initially mistook his own symptoms for arthritis.
"I just thought I had arthritis at first," he explains. "And that might be something that someone hears and thinks 'hang on, I was wondering if that is happening to me at the moment. So if that makes the difference to them going and having a check.
"Don't be shy boys, go talk to the doctors and nurses. Us chaps don't really like to say 'have you had a bit of trouble?' We don't talk, whereas ladies do," he continues. "But if we brother up a bit, you've had a few pints and you discuss it, or you go to the doctors to get checked out."
Taylor went on to say when he asks his friends if they've had a PSA test (A blood test that can help diagnose prostate problems, including prostate cancer) a lot of them respond by saying it "won't happen to them."
"We need to break down the stigma attached to it because of the subject matter," he continues. "It's now the second biggest killer of men and it's catching you at 40 and 50 not 60 and 70".
The guitarist went on to highlight some of the ways to get tested including PSA tests, MRI scans and genomic testing. "So just talking about it, getting it early, because what guys and families don't realise is it's a killer. It's not a cure when you get to stage four, it's very, very difficult. But it can be avoided with a bit of common sense and a bit of male humility."
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What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer develops when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way, according to charity Prostate Cancer UK.
Some prostate cancers grow really slowly, meaning it won’t cause any problems, but other prostate cancers grow quickly and are more likely to spread.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, with more than 47,500 new cases every year – that's 129 men being diagnosed every day.
More than 11,500 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year – that’s one man every 45 minutes.
Watch: Paul Burrell emotional as he reveals cancer diagnosis on TV
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Some prostate cancer develops slowly, so its symptoms may not show for many years, and might never cause any problems in your lifetime.
The signs of prostate cancer often only become noticeable when the prostate is enlarged enough to affect the urethra – the tube carrying urine from the bladder to the penis.
According to the NHS, prostate cancer symptoms can include:
needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
needing to rush to the toilet
difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
straining or taking a long time while peeing
feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
blood in urine or blood in semen
But these symptoms do not always mean you have prostate cancer. Many men's prostates get larger as they get older because of a non-cancerous condition called prostate enlargement.
For some men the first symptoms of prostate cancer occur when it has spread beyond the prostate gland to the bones and these can include back pain, loss of appetite, pain in the testicles and unexplained weight loss.
Whatever pain, discomfort or symptoms you feel, it is always best to discuss these with your GP.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
Paul Erotocritou, consultant urological surgeon, says GPs can use a number of tests to diagnose the condition.
"A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test detects whether there is a rise of the PSA protein in the blood that might indicate prostate cancer," he previously told Yahoo UK.
"There is also a urine test to detect whether an enlarged prostate might actually be an inflammation of the gland.
"Your GP may also be able to feel an enlarged prostate through the wall of the bowel."
Further hospital tests may include more advanced options such as a prostate biopsy, MRI, CT or ultrasound scan, or prostate mapping.
Treatments for prostate cancer
If you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer, there are several possible treatments available including:
Monitoring a slow-spreading cancer
Radiotherapy, hormone therapy
Removal of the gland
"It's best to discuss treatments and side effects with your doctor," said Erotocritou.
Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can contact Prostate Cancer UK's specialist nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or online via the Live Chat instant messaging service at www.prostatecanceruk.org.
The specialist nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.
Men can also check their risk of disease at prostatecanceruk.org/riskcheck
Additional reporting PA.