“I only found out I had cancer because my wife sent me to the doctor about snoring.” A garage owner who unexpectedly discovered he had prostate cancer is now offering discounts to customers who agree to get screened themselves.
Discounts to raise awareness
Errol McKellar, who runs a garage in the UK, has given money off car repairs and servicing to more than 3,000 customers who have accepted screenings for prostate cancer.
He came up with the idea after surviving prostate cancer himself. He says, “I only found out I had cancer because my wife sent me to the doctor about snoring and I picked up this leaflet about testing. Little did I know that those 10 minutes can change your life.” Mr McKellar was diagnosed in 2010 and had his prostate removed a year later.
Through his awareness-raising initiative, he has since helped to save 23 men who did not realise they had prostate cancer and were thus able to seek treatment with early screenings.
Screening saves lives
According to the Singapore Cancer Registry, prostate cancer is the third most common cancer among men in Singapore. However, early prostate cancer generally does not cause any symptoms, hence not enough men are getting themselves screened for it. Proactive screening is essential because treatment is most effective following an early diagnosis.
Spot the signs
The World Health Organisation warns that some groups are particularly at risk, including overweight people and those with a family history of the disease in a father or brother. Statistics also show that in Singapore, Chinese men have a higher risk compared to Malay and Indian men. Symptoms can include an increased need to urinate and a feeling that the bladder has not been fully emptied. Screening can usually be carried out at any general practitioner’s office and consists of a blood test (to check the level of a prostate-specific antigen) and a rectal examination.