A plumber for my prostate?

THE LIFE OF RYAN: Comedian John Ryan on a nervous ten minutes in the doctor's waiting room.

The doctor’s surgery is a dangerous place for me. I am prone to hypochondria and am easily distracted.

As I waited for a check up, I saw the poster: 'Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK'. I was immediately convinced that I could be next. But I know nothing about it. I grabbed a leaflet.

'The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. Its secretions help nourish the sperm and aid fertility.' I had a mental image of a small motorway service station, thousands of sperm wearing swimming trunks and goggles lined up with trays waiting for a bit of food and juice to help them on their way.

'It is the size and shape of a walnut.' Why did they have to use that to describe it? Why can’t they say it is the size of two and a half ladybirds? Just thinking about a walnut stuffed in the place where the sun doesn’t shine gives me the shudders. It’s enough to bring on a nut allergy. I had a quick look around for any leaflets on allergies. There were none so I stuck with the Prostate.

'It sits under the bladder and in front of the rectum.' Now I have worked in some messy places in my life, but nowhere as grim sounding as that.

'It starts a growth spurt at puberty and again when a man reaches his 40s.' Given that this is a time when men’s sex lives slow down, is there a link with possible prostate problems? Should I tell the missus that the more sex I get the more likely I am to avoid problems? But hang on, if she agrees will I be able to keep up? I don’t want any more back problems.

'Various hormones control its growth and function. The most important is the male sex hormone, testosterone.' Apparently, watching football produces testosterone so I could explain to the missus that Match Of The Day is good for maintaining a healthy prostate. But physical tasks can also produce it and I don’t want her to suggest gardening so maybe I will keep it to myself.

'The most common sign of a prostate problem is difficulty in passing urine.' Well that hasn’t happened to me yet.

What’s this? 'You might experience a weak flow?' Well, I had this problem with a tap in the bathroom once. 'Put your finger over the end of the tap and see if you can make it squirt,'  the plumber advised. I don’t think that would work in the gents.

'Intermittency, Hesitancy, Frequency, Urgency'.  Eee, how am I supposed to remember all this? I wonder if there is an App that I can get for the phone to record all this stuff.

'More than three-quarters of men diagnosed with prostate cancer now survive their disease beyond five years'. Well, that is better news and reassured me no end. I took a leaflet just in case and made a mental note to pay more attention to my toilet parts.

I wouldn’t mind, but I only went in to get my asthma checked.

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