Stephen Fry health: ‘I dodged a bullet’ TV actor on his potentially deadly diagnosis

Stephen Fry, 62, posted a video on his Twitter timeline last year revealing he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. In the video the TV star revealed that a routine-check up spotted an early warning sign of prostate cancer. Referring to his doctor, Fry said: “The next day he called me up, he said ‘I’m a little worried about your PSA levels’. As the actor explained: “Now I don’t know if you know what PSA levels are – these are things the prostate give out if they are under attack from some sort of tumour.”

He continued: “A normal level is anything under four nanogram per millimetre, and mine was 4.97, nearly 5, so not very high to be honest. So I wasn’t too concerned. My doctor suggested I try undergo an MRI.

“Went home didn’t think about it, the next day Tony called again and said ‘something rather mischievous turned up’. He sent me to a specialist called Roger, and he looked at the MRI image, and I underwent a ‘transrectal biopsy’. I got the results, and yes indeed there is a cancer there. Adenoarcinoma.

“These things are graded – the Gleason score. My score was eight.

“The next day, just to be doubly sure I had a PET scan – yes indeed there it is. It doesn’t seem to have spread; the cancer.”

The TV personality went on to provide an insight into his recovery process: “We had a couple of options, one was radiotherapy, but that is a very long and difficult process, I mean it’s fine for some people but there were a number of issues with it for me – I won’t go into the full details of it.

“The other was to get rid of the prostate, to get it out by using a process of sending little robots in through little holes in your tummy. And that’s what we decided the next step should be because he wanted to also take out some of the lymph nodes.

“So this is in December, nearly Christmas, so in the first week of January I had the operation and it all seemed to go pretty well.

“They took the prostate out, they took out 11 lymph nodes. They then discovered I had a gleeson score of nine, not 8, and considering the top score is 10, this was obviously an aggressive little b******.”

As it is, I feel very, very, very lucky

Stephen Fry

Earlier this year, Stephen revealed he “really dodged a bullet” by deciding to undergo an operation for prostate cancer, having now made a full recovery.

Stephen told Evening Standard: “I feel that with the help of an able, friendly and wonderfully proficient team I have really dodged a bullet here

“The aggressive nature and rate of the carcinoma suggests that had I left it unattended I might well have been presented with serious issues.

“As it is, I feel very, very, very lucky and privileged.”

What are the symptoms of Prostate cancer?

According to the NHS: “Prostate cancer does not usually cause any symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra).”

Symptoms of prostate cancer 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
  • Weak flow
  • Feeling that a person’s bladder has not emptied fully
  • Blood in urine or blood in semen

These symptoms do not always mean a person has prostate cancer, however. Many men’s prostates get larger as they get older because of a non-cancerous condition called prostate enlargement.

Signs that the cancer may have spread include bone and back pain, a loss of appetite, pain in the testicles and unexplained weight loss, noted the NHS. Find out other parts of the body it can spread to here. 

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