Wednesday, April 16, 2008


PSA doubling time is significant. I have a very short doubling time; 15 months. I don’t know where this cancer came from. I’ve always looked after my health. I don’t (very rarely) drink. I don’t smoke and I’ve never taken illicit drugs. I rarely get sick – 19 days off work sick in a 33 year working life. I run – nowadays it’s 30 to 40 miles a week. It used to be over 100, and I’ve been running for 24 years. As a friend and colleague P says; “The health benefits of running by far outweigh those of not running.”

So where did this come from? Well the relationship between stress and illness is well documented. I have my own beliefs. The body reacts to stress and hormone levels in the body are heightened. A prolonged period of extreme stress is not good. 1999 was a noteworthy year for me;

Firstly, our son suddenly developed a mystery illness that was nipped in the bud and short lived
Then I fell at work and broke every rib in my back, just 1½” to the left of my spine. I’m lucky I can walk, let alone run – Thank God!
At the end of October, my elder brother, Pat, died unexpectedly.
During all this, my employment was at risk – the company lumbered on for another 3 years before finally going into liquidation.
The year following Pat’s death was a very traumatic time. I was one of his executors and that created major difficulties.

Following these events, I went through a prolonged period of very high stress – I reckon I was up at about 450 points on one of these life events stress charts. Anything over 150 points is regarded as high and warranting medical supervision. As a cousin said at the time, “uncontrolled stress will eventually affect your health. It will come out somehow”.

How does this fit in with my prostate cancer? Well doubling time is used to predict how one’s PSA is likely to develop. I used the doubling time to work backwards to ‘normal’ levels. Starting at current levels, I reckon that I would have been around normal, general population levels….in 1999!
Of course this is all conjecture and assumption. But it fits the ‘evidence’.

I believe that there is a strong likelihood that this period in my life was the starting point in the initiation and growth of my Prostate cancer.

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