Ken Hom health: ‘It was completely unexpected’ – chef’s shocking health diagnosis
In 2010, Ken was told the devastating news that he had prostate cancer, which he describes as “one of the worst moments of his life.” Speaking in his autobiography, Ken Hom My Stir-Fried Life, he said: “My initial reaction was one of shock. No one wants to find out they have a timebomb in their body and when the doctor says you’ve got it you just freeze. It was completely unexpected.”
Ken who has lived an active life found it difficult to accept the diagnosis.
The chef is known to swim almost daily, eats a healthy diet, drinks lots of green tea and has shown no symptoms of the disease.
Ken was diagnosed after having a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test which is one of the best methods for detecting prostate cancer.
Ken chose to undergo treatment in Japan where he underwent proton therapy.
Proton therapy is a form of treatment that allows higher doses of radiation to be used with extreme precision which significantly reduces the damage done to healthy tissues and organs.
Fortunately for Ken, his cancer was contained within the prostate gland and received the diagnosis in good time.
“I was lucky as they caught the cancer early,” he explained.
“Another year on and it may well have been too late.
“Every man thinks cancer can’t happen to them, but it can and we all need regular health checks.”
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What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate.
The Mayo Clinic explains: “The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
“Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men.
“Usually prostate cancer grows slowly and is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm.
“However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.”
Symptoms to spot
The NHS explained: “Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis.
“When this happens, you may notice things like an increased need to pee, straining while you pee, a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied.
“These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer.
“It’s more likely they’re caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.”
Ken emerged from his prostate cancer treatment without any side effects although regularly attended his PSA tests to ensure the cancer did not return.
Ken stresses the importance for every man to do regular tests and check-ups.
“It’s terribly important to catch aggressive prostate cancer early,” Ken added.
“All men need to know that prostate cancer exists.
“Let’s not walk around with blindfolds on and let machismo be the death of us.”
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