"Dying for the want of a simple test"

About: Plymouth Teaching PCT

(as the patient),

In August, 2008, I went to the doctors with an uncomfortable pain. I was told to take pain-killing tablets. Over the next five months, I saw three more doctors at the same surgery (keep up the tablets) until the final doctor sent me for a PSA Blood Test in January, 2009. I have now been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, it could have been tested for and diagnosed last August. I had never heard of a PSA Test. Apparently this simple test is part of an NHS screening initiative that, quite obviously, is not being passed on to many patients; the men and women who pay for the system are not being offered these simple, life saving tests. At 67 I was denied access to a simple test that would have saved my life.

After looking after; caring for a severely disabled son (Cerebral Palsy) for 31 years, a son who died in 2004, I actually thought that my 'retirement' would be mine - no chance, it is now to be curtailed; cut short because I trusted the medical profession with my health.

When I was in the Royal Marines, every detail of my career; my profession was monitored, scutinised daily, apparently, the medical profession seems to have no such scruples especially when it comes to the very serious matter of a persons health; patient safety a service, for which they are very well paid.

Looking after my son was a trauma and his treatment by his health-centre should really have warned me as to what awaited me when my turn came. But I was far too close to the problem tending him as we did (his mother collapsed and died prematurely in 1998 aged 54) 24/7 and sleep deprivation and too much anxiety dulls the faculties. All of the above was avoidable and no doubt the 'postcode lottery' has played a part in my families final demise... Please ask for screening tests even if you are not sure as to what you are asking for - its your life - look after it.

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