'Race night put me on track to beat cancer' says March man Martyn Ayres now he urges all men aged over 45 to have a prostate cancer test
A charity night out led to a March man being diagnosed with one of the most common forms of cancer.
Now Martyn Ayres and his wife Lisa are campaigning to raise awareness of prostate cancer and urge all men aged over 45 to have a routine test for the disease.
Martyn, 54, who is now recovering after surgery a fortnight ago to remove two cancerous tumours from his prostate, was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year.
Lisa explained: “We went to a charity horse race evening at the Parkfield in Wimblington in aid of prostate cancer. One of the speakers, David Green, spoke about his experience and said that all men over the age of 45 should be tested.
“I told Martyn he should go, but he kept putting it off because he didn’t have any symptoms and he was really busy at work.”
But Martyn said: “One day I got home from work early and thought I’ll just go and have the test – basically I was doing it to please Lisa. I wasn’t expecting anything to be wrong, because I had no symptoms.
“In fact when I got to the surgery and the receptionist asked what I wanted and I explained I wanted the test, the first thing she asked was what were my symptoms. When I said I didn’t have any she told me I didn’t need the test.
“But I just told her that I was in the age bracket to have the test, which was what the government was recommending. So eventually she booked me in.
“I had the test, and I really thought that would be it.”
Lisa continued: “So you can imagine how shocked we both were when the test came back and suggested he needed further tests.”
Martyn had further tests including a biopsy and an MRI scan which confirmed the worst – he did have prostate cancer. He was given three options to deal with the disease.
The first do nothing, which would mean having three monthly tests; the second was a course of strong radiotherapy; and the other was surgery.
Lisa said: “The doctors made it very clear that Martyn is more likely to die of old age than from prostate cancer. But you never know how the disease is going to develop or if it will spread.
“He was lucky because the tumours were contained in his prostate and hadn’t spread to his tubes or anywhere else.”
Martyn added: “I was lucky, I didn’t have any symptoms and so I was not worried about the disease. I could be sat here now unaware that I had cancer if it hadn’t been for that night out.
“I would urge every man aged over 45 to go and get tested. As I found out, you don’t need to have symptoms to have cancer and the earlier it is picked up the easier it is to get treated.
“All it involves is a simple blood test, it takes just a few minutes – everyone can spare a few minutes, no matter how busy they are.”
Martyn and Lisa have launched a fundraising page on Facebook for Prostate Cancer UK and are also planning to take part in the first-ever ‘March for Men’ cancer charity walk being held at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough on October 7.
The couple, who have two children, Rebecca and Matthew, are confident the way research is progressing that by the time Matt, 26, is his dad’s age treatment for prostate cancer will be much simpler.
Lisa concluded: “Treatment is getting better all the time. Martyn’s dad had it 18 years ago and the treatment was much more invasive than now. Prostate Cancer UK are doing research and coming up with new treatments all the time, which is why we are supporting them.
“Who knows, they may one day be able to prevent men from getting it in the first place.”