A 44-year-old father in the U.K. has shared a photo of himself in his boxers to show others some of the lesser-spoken-about repercussions of prostate cancer.
Kurt Jewson took the photo of himself with a catheter, colostomy bag and bandages in a mirror at his home.
“I’ve got a Catheter, Stoma (colostomy bag), scars where you can see them, scars where you can’t and hormone implants below my skin,” he wrote in the January 28 post, adding that he’ll undergo another operation followed by radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
“Why am I posting this? Well, in the summer of 2014 I had blood in my urine. Went to the [doctor] and he said that it was probably just an infection and would clear up,” Jewson wrote. “It did. However, it wasn’t an infection. It was a symptom of Prostate Cancer.”
Jewson continued to say in the post that if his doctor had recommended a blood test, the cancer would have been found earlier.
“There are many symptoms. I urge all men to spend 5 minutes here. It could save your life,” he said.
He directed his readers to the Prostate Cancer UK website for a complete list of symptoms, and voiced regret that he did not pick up on the signs sooner.
“As it was, my cancer was free to grow and grow for another 12 months without anyone knowing,” Jewson wrote.
Jewson’s post has been shared more than 200,000 times.
In the U.S., 177, 489 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 27,244 men died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s latest data from 2012. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the U.S.— aside from non-melanoma skin cancer— and one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races.