1 February 2016

John was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011. His experience of living with the disease has made him an important part of the Movember Foundation’s TrueNth advisory panel. Find out more.

John Heyworth's Story
John Heyworth was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and his experience of living with the disease has made him an important part of the Movember Foundation’s TrueNth advisory panel as a patient advocate. TrueNth is the Movember Foundation’s revolutionary new care intervention programme that is designed to help men living with prostate cancer gain access to care and support to enhance their quality of life. This is an international programme funded by the Movember Foundation, and In the UK it is delivered in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK.

‘’I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 4 years ago at the age of 59. I had real problems with frequent peeing for quite a few years and despite trips to my GP nothing was done…. I was told I was too young for it to be prostate cancer.

Eventually I insisted on being tested, a simple blood test called a PSA test and bingo I had prostate cancer. Further tests and scans indicated the cancer was contained within the prostate gland, a small golf ball size gland that sits under the bladder.

I opted to have my prostate removed. It was a long operation, 7 hours and a tad uncomfortable for a few days afterwards. After a couple of weeks I was back to normal and soon able to go to the gym and do long distance runs. However, a biopsy on my removed prostate indicated there were positive margins i.e. signs of cancer on the edge of my prostate so there was a chance that some of the cancer had spread beyond my prostate.

Sure enough, 3 years later my cancer became aggressive again and this time I was able to have 7 weeks of daily radiation treatment. This treatment is non- invasive and despite clever targeting there is usually damage to surrounding tissue and your bowels get a hammering.

Unfortunately for me this treatment hasn’t worked and I still have the cancer.

All I can do now is to try and control it by medication and by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Initially, after training, I did one to one peer support usually by phone to men all over the UK. I also do Awareness Talks to groups locally.

For the last 3 years I have been working on a major project called TrueNTH, which will give men with prostate cancer an improved care pathway. This involves working with some of the UK’s best clinicians and academics and has taken me to universities and hospitals all over the UK and recently to Australia as it’s a collaborative project happening in 6 countries and is funded by the Movember Foundation. They are an amazing organisation and do so much for men’s health….so support the Movember Foundation this World Cancer Day and help us beat cancer together."


You can find out more about the True NTH programme here.