Luke Williams's Prostate Cancer Story

Man smiling on seat

Luke Williams, 54, London

Luke was diagnosed with cancer at 49 years old and had surgery to remove the prostate. His dad and uncle have also been diagnosed with the disease and he has three brothers who all have an increased risk of prostate cancer. Luke took part in Prostate Cancer UK's London March for Men in 2017 and 2018 to help raise awareness of a disease that is affecting 1 in 4 black men. 

His story:

Luke was diagnosed with cancer in August 2015 at 49. His dad died of prostate cancer and his uncle has been diagnosed with the disease. He has three brothers that have not been affected by prostate cancer but are aware of their increased risk.  
Every summer Luke always has a 'full MOT' including a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test. In 2013, when he had his MOT, his GP missed the results of his PSA test. Next summer he had another PSA test, and the results this time concerned his GP. Luke then went on to have a rectal examination. Luke's GP thought his PSA levels were raised due to the type of activities he gets involved in such as cycling. Luke was told that this type of physical activity may have irritated the prostate, causing a raised PSA level. His GP missed the fact that Luke had prostate cancer again. 
In 2015 Luke twisted his ankle and couldn't go to work. During that time, he decided to have his MOT including a PSA test, this time with a new GP who paid attention. Six weeks later he received the results and was told that he has prostate cancer. Luke showered the GP with gifts, he said: 'the GP saved my life'. 
Luke went to receive the news about the diagnosis on his own. He said being alone felt daunting. When Luke first heard the news about his prostate cancer diagnosis, he found a corner in the GP's surgery and cried, at the same time, he felt hopeful and optimistic that he would overcome the cancer. He was also concerned about suffering from
Luke found choosing a suitable treatment option challenging. In the end, he opted for surgery to remove the prostate. He said he felt very uncomfortable after surgery and the nurses did everything they could to make him feel comfortable. He is still in regular contact with one of the nurses, who he found very reassuring. Overall Luke was happy with his treatment journey and 'raises his hat to the NHS'.
After surgery Luke experienced heavy leaks and found it difficult to hold in his urine. His incontinence took a year to improve. His incontinence is currently very minimal and he no longer has to wear pads. He does experience a few leaks, more so when he goes to the gym and strains his body more. 
Luke also suffered from erectile dysfunction after his surgery. He said that he was prescribed Viagra, but he is not really using it, as he wants his body to learn how to do things on its own. Two and half years on, he has begun to see the success of that approach.
Luke's outlook on life changed the moment he was diagnosed. He started to look at everyday objects, differently and wonder 'what if I never see this again?' He rarely wears a coat in the winter as he wants to feel the cold air on him. He also wants to spend more time with the people he loves and not take things for granted. 
Luke took part in Prostate Cancer UK's London March for Men in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In June 2018 when Luke was walking around the Olympic Park, he noticed a boy in his early twenties walking the 10k route on his own.
Luke said: "When I first saw Ricardo, I was very impressed that he had put the time and energy into doing the walk solo. He told me that he was taking part to help raise awareness of a disease that is affecting 1 in 4 black men. He was also walking on behalf of his auntie who had been affected by cancer. We walked the 10k route together, getting to know each other, which was a great experience. 
"Since the walk, Ricardo's auntie sadly passed away. Ricardo was absolutely devastated by the news. They had a very close relationship. Every now and then I send him a text message to check in and catch up.  
"My message to anyone thinking about taking part in Prostate Cancer UK's March for Men is: 'do not hesitate'. Everyone who attended was so friendly and inspiring and I thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie. I hope that the money raised goes towards further research into prostate cancer and extra support for men that have been diagnosed with the disease."

Other information:

When Luke was going through prostate cancer, he completed an online course to become a spin instructor at Fitness First.