Prostate cancer survivor Leonard in drive to save lives

Leonard Brereton pictured in the driver's seat of Action Cancer's Big Bus, bringing cancer detection and prevention services to communities throughout Northern Ireland. (Submitted Picture).
Leonard Brereton pictured in the driver's seat of Action Cancer's Big Bus, bringing cancer detection and prevention services to communities throughout Northern Ireland. (Submitted Picture).

Antrim man Leonard Brereton is sharing his experience of prostate cancer to encourage other men to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

New figures just released from the NI Cancer Registry confirm prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death amongst males in NI. The good news is that early detection can saves lives so the sooner symptoms are presented to a GP, the greater the chance of survival.

After mentioning to his GP during a visit back in 2009 that he had been running to the toilet a couple of times in the night for some six months, Leonard did a PSA blood test there and then on suggestion from his doctor as a precautionary measure. Another blood test was called for and then a biopsy.

“Even after my hospital appointment I was still quite calm about the whole thing,” said the 61-year-old father-of-two.

Leonard, then aged 54, was diagnosed with prostate cancer but underwent keyhole surgery which successfully removed the cancer.

He said: “I am now six years cancer free and my message to other men is this - Don’t think you are invincible. Cancer can strike at any time, it’s important to know your body and present any unusual symptoms to your GP”.

Leonard’s prostate cancer diagnosis led him to move away from a career in lorry driving to become an Action Cancer Big Bus Driver, bringing the charity’s life saving services to communities throughout Northern Ireland.