Steve Allen is currently 75 years old. Some 15 years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He studiously ignored his symptoms of prostatic problems for over 2 years before he did anything about it. For many reasons Steve was convinced he had benign disease, but he was wrong. That said, by today's standards he had a mildly aggressive form of the disease. He was advised to undergo an open radical prostatectomy in 2008. Again, by today's standards he has been grossly over treated. But things were very different then. He became totally incontinent of urine and suffered severe erectile dysfunction. The former has been totally controlled by the implant of an artificial urinary sphincter, the latter has been helped by time, pharmacology and a wonderfully understanding partner.
Steve could be full of regret and even anger -but what is the point? One cannot regret the past, only look to the future. His aim now is to ensure that all people affected by prostate cancer get not only the treatment most appropriate for them but also the support and advice that they can still, sadly, often be lacking.
Steve has been very closely involved with the two major prostate cancer charities - Tackle Prostate Cancer and Prostate Cancer UK. He is the patient representative for Tackle with NICE, the Scottish Medicines Consortium and the National Prostate Cancer Audit. Over many years since his own diagnosis he has been privileged to share the experiences and journeys of vast numbers of men and has learned a lot from them. Steve is proud and humbled to often be their voice when needed. Diagnosed when still a hospital consultant, he does have a medical background, but he always tries to be a patient first and a doctor second.