MEN URGED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR
Mary Magee reports
A WELL KNOWN Lisburn businessman has told how
a simple blood test helped save his life when it showed he had
Brian Brown, Managing Director of Browns
Coachworks and a member of the board of Action Cancer, is
backing the charity's Action Man campaign which encourages men
to take responsibility for their own health.
Brian (60) was diagnosed with the condition
three years ago after a flippant remark.
The grandfather-of-one from Hillsborough had
been out with friends when one told him that sesame seeds were
good for your prostate.
Unsure of where his prostate was exactly, the comment stuck
with Brian and when he visited his doctor about a problem with
his knee he mentioned it to her.
She asked him a few simple questions and even
though he answered no to everything she advised him to have a
blood test anyway.
As the nurse was busy and Brian was convinced
he did not have any symptoms he put put the test off for another
A week later he was in the health centre
collecting a prescription and as the nurse was not busy he got a
A few days later the doctor rang with the
results and told him his PSA was high and he would have to see a
After a meeting with at Belfast City Hospital
he had a biopsy and told h, had cancer.
"My whole life just seemed to stop. Brian
said. "To be told something like that was just devastating. My
wife was with me and we were both the same. My immediate
reaction was just how long I had left."
Luckily for Brian the cancer was found early,
it was operable and curable. He had an MRI scan to see if the
cancer had spread.
"I was told if I hadn't got that test for
another six or seven years their advice would have been to get a
good solicitor and go on a good holiday," he said. "I knew just
how lucky I was"
After an operation to remove his prostate
Brian underwent a course of radiotherapy and was off work for
three months. Though clear now for three years he still
undergoes check ups every six months.
Brian says he was lucky his cancer was
detected so early and has urged men over the age of 50 to have
the PSA blood test done. His experience has even helped his best
friend who was diagnosed with prostate cancer after having a
"All it is is a simple blood test" Brian
said. "I would have considered myself fit and healthy, went to
the doctor regularly and did not have any symptoms yet I had it.
"When your health is at risk it makes you
more appreciative of life. If my story saves just one life then
it is worth it."