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Men urged to get tested for prostate cancer after Suffolk resident and BBC broadcaster Bill Turnbull reveals diagnosis

PUBLISHED: 15:24 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:54 07 March 2018

The much-loved BBC broadcaster Bill Turnbull has revealed that he is suffering from prostate cancer: Picture: MATT CROSSICK/PA WIRE

The much-loved BBC broadcaster Bill Turnbull has revealed that he is suffering from prostate cancer: Picture: MATT CROSSICK/PA WIRE

MATT CROSSICK/PA WIRE

Charities and health authorities across the county have urged men to get tested for prostate cancer, after BBC legend and Suffolk resident Bill Turnbull announced his diagnosis yesterday morning.

The Classic FM host, 62, said that he was diagnosed at the end of last year, after long-term aches and pains which he had put down to “old age” were no longer being alleviated with pills.

The broadcaster said: “Maybe if I’d got it earlier and stopped it at the prostate, I’d be in a much better state.

“The worst thing is, you carry it through the day and then you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and it comes to you again. I have got cancer. I’ve still got cancer. It wasn’t a bad dream. And that takes a lot of dealing with.”

The disease, which had been developing in his prostate, has spread to his legs, hips, pelvis and ribs.

Now authorities across Suffolk are echoing Mr Turnball’s call for others to get tested sooner rather than later.

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Prostate cancer is now a bigger killer than breast cancer, and, with an ageing population more and more men are developing the condition.

“Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years. You may notice an increased need to urinate, straining while urinating and a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied. These symptoms should not be ignored but it is important to understand it does not mean you have prostate cancer. The symptoms are very similar to benign prostate enlargement, which affects how you pass urine and can be treated.

“Although there is no single reliable test for prostate cancer, if you have any concerns make an appointment with your GP practice to discuss your options.”

Geoff Willmott, vice chair of the East Suffolk Prostate Cancer Support Group, said it was imperative that men understood the condition was hereditary.

He said: “If somebody in your family has had it, you are more at risk. Find out about the symptoms, and get tested right away. It might save your life.”

Mr Willmott added that prostate cancer has a hidden effect on women, who are often supporting their fathers, husbands and sons behind the scenes.

A number of famous faces have also been sharing their support for Mr Turnbull – and encouraging men to get tested.

Susanna Reid, who worked with the broadcaster on BBC Breakfast, said on Good Morning Britain: “Loads of love to you Bill, and a really positive message to come out of your experience, ‘go to the doctor get the test’.”

Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins tweeted that she was sending Turnbull a “big hug”.

Mr Willmott urged anybody keen to learn more about the disease to stop by the NHS Wellbeing Exhibition at the Kesgrave Community Centre on March 23, where the East Suffolk Prostate Cancer Support Group will be providing advice and information to take away.

Alternatively, anybody recently diagnosed with the condition and unsure of which way to turn can call the charity’s helpline on 07936 012945.

More information can be found on the Prostate Cancer UK website, or by contacing an on-call nurse on 0800 074 8383.

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