FARMERS are being urged to get tested and break down the stigma surrounding prostate cancer.


Monmouthshire Livestock Centre hosted an awareness session from leading Welsh health charity Prostate Cymru to spread the word.


Prostate cancer affects 1 in 8 men in Wales, but the risk increases to 1 in 3 if there is a family history of the disease.


Dai John, from Caerwent, was 56 when he was diagnosed in 2011. Following treatment, he joined Prostate Cymru as head of awareness and was among the volunteers talking to farmers and visitors – including Monmouth MP David Davies – at the livestock centre near Raglan.


Mr Davies said: “It was great to meet the team and Monmouthshire resident Dai John, who is a brilliant advocate and gives no-holds-barred advice.


“Dai’s story, which he combines with facts and humour, is remarkable. He was an incredibly fit ex-rugby player. His dad sadly passed away from prostate cancer and he was only diagnosed too after volunteering for a research study at Cardiff University.


“He was treated by robotic surgery in Bristol, which wasn’t available in Wales at the time, and now uses his personal experience to raise awareness of the importance of getting tested.


“A common misconception is this disease only affects older men, which simply isn’t the case.


“I would encourage more men to recognise the risk factors and get tested, particularly as prostate cancer doesn’t usually show any symptoms in its early stages.”


In the UK, there is no routine screening process. Men are recommended to ask their GP for a blood test known as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which indicates whether prostate cancer may be present and can be followed up with an MRI scan.


Anyone with a family history of the disease is urged to get tested at 45.


Mr John said: “It’s no secret that farmers can be notoriously bad at seeking help when something is wrong and the natural attitude of men is not to talk about health issues.


“But men need to know about the risks, which is why awareness of prostate cancer and prostate diseases is vital.”