Focus on prostate cancer: Phil Kissi talks about survival

Phil Kissi

Phil Kissi - Credit: Archant

Phil Kissi believes the support of family, friends, work colleagues and the medical profession is vital to surviving the disease.

Phil Kissi with wife Linda believes support of close family and friends is vital in helping men tack

Phil Kissi with wife Linda believes support of close family and friends is vital in helping men tackle prostate cancer - Credit: Archant

Although he owes his early diagnoses of prostate cancer to a daytime BBC TV show in 2005, he is clear about the huge impact the support and understanding of his GP, family and work colleagues has had on his subsequent survival.

Phil, 54, from the Isle of Dogs, had no less than three PSA blood tests before one showed something abnormal.

He said: “I just wanted to make sure there were no problems because I was planning to get married.”

Another reason for his concern was that both his paternal and maternal grandfathers had experienced what he called “hidden problems”.

After his third test, Phil had a biopsy (where a small sample of tissue is removed) which revealed he had a rare but aggressive form of the disease.

“I said ‘when can I have it removed?’ I knew all about the options because I had been reading the booklet from Prostate Cancer UK. I was already prepared for it mentally, but my family wasn’t, my children weren’t, my fiancée wasn’t.”

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His surgery was successfully completed at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and Phil quickly resumed his active life. The experience has changed his life.

He left his job in the civil service and set up his company Moving Forward to train young people and get them into work, and is committed to training young athletes and raising prostate cancer awareness.

He urged men to take responsibility for their own health but also to share their concerns with those closest to them, as well as the medical profession.

“You need to tell someone close to you and share that responsibility. You do not need to die of shame because that is the alternative if you don’t.

“There are people to guide every step. It’s all about bringing that awareness home, not just to men but their wives, girlfriends, partners and families.They all have a part to play.

“We need to talk about the things that men don’t want to talk about.”