Betty Wright performs alongside Jools Holland in 2012
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The charity Prostate Cancer UK estimates there are roughly 14,000 men in England walking around with undiagnosed prostate cancer. Until 2014 ex Squeeze band member Jools Holland was one of those men. The star has opened up for the first time about being shocked by his prostate cancer diagnosis because he had no symptoms of the condition.
If it wasn’t for a routine prostate test, Jools would never have found out about his condition. Talking to PA, the star admitted he would have carried on until it was “too late.”
“I had no awareness of prostate cancer, no symptoms that I noticed whatsoever until I was diagnosed following a routine blood test in 2014.
“Thankfully I was successfully treated, but if more people were aware of their risk and caught the disease early, then more lives would be saved.”
“Had I not had that routine test, where something had shown up, then I would have just gone on and on until it was perhaps too late to have done anything about it,” he added.
Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that develops in the prostate gland. Although in some cases it may not need to be treated, it can metastasise to other parts of the body where it becomes less treatable, suggests Doctor Colin Tidy.
It is known as the “silent killer because the prostate sits deep in the pelvis, meaning the cancer can grow there for months to years without causing trouble, according to the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation.
Since his diagnosis, the star has been trying to raise awareness to the condition that roughly one in eight men suffer from in their lifetime, according to Prostate Cancer UK.
He had the idea of organising a charity music event Raise the Roof in conjunction with his friend and founder of Prostate Cancer UK Professor Jonathan Waxman and his charity.
Scheduled for June 2022, the event at the Royal Albert Hallwill host names like Paul Weller, Spice Girl Melanie C, Paloma Faith and more.
The funds from the event will go towards helping find better testing methods to use as part of a national testing programme. There currently aren’t any national testing programmes.
At first, when Holland was diagnosed he was concerned about the life-threatening implications of the disease but came to realise that his early diagnosis might have been a life-saver.
“It’s not like I suddenly felt ill, except you suddenly have this thing hanging over your head and you think ‘hang on, don’t people die from all this?’
“So obviously that was of concern, but then once I started talking to Professor Waxman I realised there are all sorts of ways of dealing with it if caught early.”
Prostate cancer normally has no symptoms until it has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra–the tube that moves urine from the bladder out of the penis.
Although the NHS does offer blood tests called PSA tests to help diagnose prostate cancer, the body is cautious about recommending them.
It said: “The PSA test is a blood test to help detect prostate cancer. But it’s not perfect and will not find all prostate cancers.”
PSA or prostate-specific antigen is a protein made in the prostate gland that can leak into the blood.
The amount leaked can be a sign of how healthy your prostate is but it may also be affected by age.
According to the NHS, three in four men with higher levels of the substance in their blood will not have cancer.
The test can also miss out on around 14 percent of cancers.
However, routine PSA tests are one of the best ways to figure out if you have prostate cancer at the moment.
The symptoms of prostate cancer that has grown can include:
- Needing to pee more frequently
- Rushing to the toilet
- Difficulty when starting to pee
- Weak flow
- Blood in urine or semen
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