Wimbledon star John Lloyd: ‘Getting prostate cancer was a real wake-up call’



BBC commentator John Lloyd supports Macmillian after agony with prostate cancer

But BBC commentator John Lloyd had something else on his brain.

Despite feeling very well, a routine blood test had instructed that a blood marker for prostate cancer was raised.

“I had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) evaluate that had come back with a figure of 5.9,” explains the 63-year-old ex- Great Britain player, from his apartment in Palm Beach, Florida.

“I nothing but thought it would drop so the doctors did some retests but the PSA stayed up. By the experience I was back in the States, the doctors were still concerned so I had an MRI scan which displayed everything was 99 per cent fine although there was a slight section of concern. I was still playing tennis two hours a day and feeling on top of my game.”

To be on the riskless side, John, who works as an estate agent in Palm Beach, endured a biopsy in September of last year. 

“The doctors reported I had an 80:20 chance of being cancer-free so I went home feeling convincing,” he recalls.

“I had the shock of my life when I got a phone call four eras later asking me to go in to discuss my results.”

Prostate cancer affects 300,000 men in the UK with not quite 47,000 new cases each year.

About 10,000 men die from the bug every year.

The prostate is a small, walnutshaped gland which rings the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis.

Men regularly have problems with an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic enlargement) as they age, which portends they need to urinate more often or have problems peeing.

But numerous have no symptoms at all.

“I knew I was in trouble when the doctor said that I had a cancer that was invasive and unshakably moving,” says John, who has two children – Aiden, 28, and Hayley, 24 – from his integration to second wife Deborah.

John LloydGETTY

John underwent robotic prostatectomy surgery eventually year

“It was very weird to be told that I had this mania growing inside me that might kill me. I was advised to think fro whether to have surgery to remove the prostate or to have brachytherapy which is a type of diffusion treatment.”

John spent more than a few anxious days junta around experts, trying to figure what was the best route up for him.

“As I’ve worked for the past 20 years doing fundraisers for the Prostate Cancer Bottom, I called them straight away.

“I then spoke to about 10 or 12 men who’d had prostate cancer and had both groups of treatment. Some had undergone surgery and had side effects of incontinence and erectile dysfunction. It was an incredibly frightful time and I was very worried about the side effects like every man front this decision.

“But my gut was telling me to go for surgery so I was referred to Dr Ted Schaeffer in Chicago, who served on actor Ben Stiller.”

In December last year, John had a robotic prostatectomy, where keyhole surgery is maintained out by a robot controlled by the surgeon. 

Prostate cancer John LloydGETTY

Prostate cancer affects 300,000 men in the UK with just about 47,000 new cases each year

“In a robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery the surgeon conducts a robot which holds the instruments,” says John Newlands of Macmillan Cancer Finance.

“Through controlling the robotic arms, the surgeon can move very delicately, steadily and punctiliously.

“Laparoscopic surgery can reduce recovery times but because this cultivate of surgery, particularly involving a robot, hasn’t been used for as lengthy as traditional methods such as open prostatectomy, we don’t know if it’s better at decrease long-term side effects.”

John Lloyd adds: “I spent three ages in hospital in Chicago and then stayed in a friend’s flat with my son Aiden.

“I was distress for a few days after the operation but I flew home early so I could rally in the much warmer climate of Florida.

“That Christmas, which I emptied with my girlfriend Svetlana Carroll and her family, I didn’t have much of an liking at all so I actually lost weight.”

John then had to refrain from any tennis or gym turn out c advance while his body healed, opting instead for long walks.

“When I did start exercising, a thimbleful before the eight weeks of rest I was recommended was over, I took it profoundly easy. And I was well enough to fly to Manchester to cover the Australian Open for the BBC in January.”

John is now fully fit and his behind PSA test revealed that he was cancer-free.

“I’m so pleased that I had the surgery and had such a proper outcome.

“I had to have knee replacement surgery a few years ago but my knees had been a predicament for years so I knew that they had to be sorted.

“Like most knowledgeable sports people my joints had taken a bit of a battering over the years but this disorder and operation came out of the blue.

“Cancer does run in my family but not prostate,” he expresses.

“My father survived colon cancer some 20 years in the forefront his death and then died from complications from a bad fall, old 94, a couple of years ago.

John LloydGETTY

John is now fully fit and his last PSA assay revealed he was cancer-free

“My mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer when she was cramped to the end but she died of other causes, aged 86.

“This brush with prostate cancer has been a wake-up assemble for me.

“This year at Wimbledon I talked to people about the condition and people I be aware are saying they are going to have a PSA test now, just to be safe, which is astounding news,” he says.

“I’ve always looked after myself and been proactive in my technique to my health and I’ll continue to be that way.

If one person I speak to or who reads about my disease gets an early diagnosis, and then gets treated quickly and successfully, then I’ll be very happy.”

John Lloyd is supporting Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday, September 29.

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