Prostate cancer

I'm 58 and a regular runner, competing in races from 10km to marathon.

Following PSA tests, biopsies and MRI , T3 prostate cancer has been diagnosed and I am due to have a radical  prostatectomy . I know that the doctors and surgeons are excellent at their jobs but when it comes to exercise they think that regular exercise is walking the dog! Running up to 26miles and beyond is something they don't seem to comprehend. I certainly wish to continue running after surgery and would welcome anybody's experience having had a similar situation and any advice they can offer.

Many thanks,  Gerry.image


  • Can't offer any advice at all, but just want to say all the best mate - hope things work out image

  • Sorry to hear your news, good luck with the surgery and any follow-up treatments.

    You should be allocated a CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) as part of your care team.  He/she will be the one who can get you some definitive answers - asking different consultants if necessary.  CNS role is partly about medical care, but also about pastoral care - helping the patient (and family as appropriate) understand what's happening and stay sane...which includes all the "stupid" questions like "can I still ski" (Mr HH's major worry).  Hopefully you have your CNS's number - if not, ask your GP if surgery is not imminent, or ask on the ward when you arrive for surgery.

    Macmillan and their information arm Cancer Backup (www, are great sources of information for the "non-standard" questions too.  Give them a call if a trawl in the website doesn't help.

    I can't answer your question directly as Mr HH had colon cancer (hence the source of all the above info!)

  • Thanks for the support Guys,

    Lots to think about, would love to hear from someone who has gone through this and kept running.image

  • Found this...Runner post radical prostatectomy (some bits may be more than you're ready for, depends on your likely control issues post surgery)

  • Gerry, i'm afraid I don't have any advice, so not the post you're looking for, but just wanted to say I hope it all goes well, and wish you a speedy recovery. I do hope you can get back to running soon, and i'm sure your positivity will carry you through. All the best.

    Pea x

  • Thanks Heckenhocker for the route to John Quigley's god he doesn't pull his punches does he.Still I would rather know the day to day experiences rather than a brief overall picture from the medics.hooray there is light at the end of the tunnel although the course is more hilly than undulating and at least I can possibly look forward to a new set of PB's. imageimage

  • The charity partner of the Tour of Britain was the Prostate Cancer Charity

    I'd give them a call

  • Surgeons and nurses always try to prepare you for the worst pre-operation.

    Not the same, but I had breast cancer three years ago, double mastectomy & reconstruction. They said I wouldn't be able to kickbox, run, lift my arm higher than my shoulder, sleep on my front and parachute jump.

    Since, the only one I've not been able to do is parachute jump (although that made me sad, as the only time I cried throughout the diagnosis and treatment was when they said I couldn't skydive again).

    But my point is that they will always tell you the worst case scenario. Good luck with your treatment and op, i'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  • GA - good luck with the treatment and recovery......there are a few cancer survivors around on the forum who've suffered various levels of the disease and have come back strong. your's will take some recovery as it's a pretty invasive technique and right into areas where you will feel it when running so you need to be patient with your recovery I reckon....

    I've recovered fine from radiotherapy a few years ago on my neck and I think the most important piece of advice I can offer - and I'm sure others will agree - is to retain a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) as that will help you both before, during and after the treatment.....

    a sound PMA and good fitness to start (which you should have as a regular runner) will help your recovery

    good luck
  • Gerry Atrick wrote (see)

     I would rather know the day to day experiences rather than a brief overall picture from the medics.

    We found the same!  The more details you know, the less you worry about "is this normal" when the details happen image
    Gerry Atrick wrote (see)

    hooray there is light at the end of the tunnel although the course is more hilly than undulating and at least I can possibly look forward to a new set of PB's. imageimage

    Definitely light at the end of the tunnel.  And with hospital food you'll be a few pounds lighter** to help towards that new PB set image  Get out and do some of your favourite runs before surgery...then re-run them in your mind during the tough'll be out there again later

    **have no idea if you are currently slim or round...but hopefully you'll take the comment in the light hearted way it's meant. 

  • Hi Gerry,

    I only found this post this evening, so you're probably longover your surgery at this stage.  Hopefully you're doing well. Feel free to mail me if you wish.

    I'm now just over 27 months post-surgery and doing well: got my 5 mile time back down to 33:35, 10 is 71:06.  i'm signed up for the Dublin Marathon in October - my first in 7 years and 20th in all. If all goes to plan (touch wood!) and the day is good, I'm hoping to do 3:18, or better.

    Back for another routine checkup on Sept 24th, but all is looking good.

    I have two messages for anyone here faced with Cancer:

    1   Early Diagnosis is absolutely CRUCIAL

    Your fitness will stand to you in a big way.



    PS: I'm glad those here found my Blog 'interesting'  - it was intended to be a 'warts and all' perspective.

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for the reply, thanks to Heckenhocker above, I did check out your blog before my surgery and I must say it did help me immensely...thank you.

    I had laproscopic surgery on 10 nov 2009 at the Bristol Bupa hospital by Mr mark Wright.  All went extremely well. I did have a gleeson score upgraded from 6 to 7 but luckily they found no eruption from the prostate margins nor involvement of the seminal vesicles or lymph nodes.

    I felt so well that 2 days post surgery I was walking up and down the stairwell mainly through total boredom.I progressed at home from 2 hour walks with the catheter in, to a slow half marathon in Florida 25 days post op.I have had 2 negative psa tests the next one due in November. I have done several 10 milers and halfs now waiting for the New Forest marathon later this month(my 45th and first for 3 years!).

    I am so glad that all is well with your health and you are back competing.I must say, your times are very impressive.

    I'm sure you found that the condition although came at such a shock,was more common that one imagined and the number of older men had had some form of treatment was much higher than expected. Also after my diagnosis there were quite a large number of friends who went to get a psa done. I did email Dr Milroy of the Road Runners Club, of which I am a member, about awareness of the disease and shortly afterwards an article was published. Maybe the Runners World should also do a spread?

    Well John, thanks for the reply, I wish you very well with your health and running, and as the great Dave Allen used to say ,may your God go with you.


  • Hi John and Gerry, it's great to hear from you both and to learn that you are doing well. Long may it continue!
  • Hi Gerry et al,

    I got over my Dublin Marathon last week.  I didn't quite achieve my target of 3:18 - I finished in 3:21:52 (gun time, 3:21:33 chip time) but I'm not too disappointed. Apart from my own personal milestone, I really wanted to show others that there can be life after Cancer diagnosis.

    I was well on target for a 3:07 or so, until I got a very bad cramp in my right hamstring at 19, having plugged in steady 6:55 - 7:10 miles from 4 miles,covering that 15 mile stretch in 1:46:13.  The cramp put paid to everything and I jogged home.

    I never cramped in a race before, so was very surprised.  I put it down to not drinking enough, though I was well hydrated coming into the event.  However I'd always been apprehensive about drinking too much on the run, due to the  possibility of 'leakage', and probably didn't take enough on board on the day.  Lesson learnt. I ran with a 'Cancer Survivor' strip on my club singlet, front & back, and got a tremendous reception all the way round.  I'd strongly recommend that other Cancer survivors wear a similar strip - it gives a tremendous lift to those facing Cancer, along with their families and friends.


  • Well done you guys.  Its heartening to hear your stories.  I am a 35 yr old female with advanced melanoma - due to block removal of lymph nodes in my right groin and pelvis my running days have turned into shuffling days, but I walk whenever I can and you are so right that fitness stands you in good stead for a cancer battle. 

    And I can't emphasise enough your point about early diagnosis - if mine had been caught early I would quite probably be in a very different position now.... but onwards and upwards!  I think there is a perception that cancer is an immediate death sentence, but it is not - many of us are living with it and having very fruitful and rewarding life experiences along the way.  Keep up the good work and good news stories and give us all hope image

    Hegs x

  • John,

    Well done on your marathon, fantastic effort and great time. I did the new forest marathon followed by the cardiff  half both of which I completed comfortably. I don't seem to get any leakage problems running and sometimes on long runs with fluid overload I have to stop for a pee! My occasional leakage is when relaxed and not concentrating a spurt may occur..hey ho! that could be age related. My prostatectomy anniversary is on the 10th of this month and have my 2nd psa blood next tuesday so fingers crossed.

    I think your cancer survivor notice on your running vest is a good idea. Did you see that in the states last month they had a very successful campaign at a NFL Giants v Bears football game for breast cancer where all the players had pink attatched to their kit. Next year there are moves to do the same for prostate cancer with  light blue being the colour of choice.Maybe we should have our soccer games having a cancer awareness campaign?   Anyway John, great news and hope you stay cancer free.


    I'm sorry to hear about  your news.  It is very sad that there are so many health issues out there but heartening that people are willing to share their experiences in trying to leave as much a normal life as they can under the various circumstances. Even fit young people are not immune from this dreadful disease. Sport is a great vehicle to show the way through these adversities, which must give people great hope.

    Try and keep as fit as possible, Hegs, my thoughts and prayers are with you.


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