Jeff and Heather Turnbull

Turnbull Family

Prostate cancer is in all-too-common disease, with one in seven men diagnosed in their lifetime. Heather Turnbull was aware of these frightening statistics and convinced her husband to get checked out… just in time. She tells her story:

I can’t tell you enough how important it is to have regular checkups with your doctor.

It was a year ago that my husband Jeff went in for surgery for prostate cancer. Make sure your husband, partner, brother, father, grandparent gets regular checkups at the doctors, including a screening for prostate cancer. 

Our story began in December of 2016 when Jeff finally went in for a checkup. He did not have any major symptoms for prostate cancer, only some discomfort and a “voice” telling him to get checked. That voice was me, his wife. He had a physical exam and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The levels in his PSA came back high and we started to worry. We were told there are many different things that could be going on, but of course, one is cancer, and he would need a biopsy to determine what we were dealing with. 

We have five children at home and we were very scared about what was happening. We chose to have the biopsy and wait for the results before sharing the news with the family. The biopsy was done and the results came back. We were dealing with cancer. I say “we” because it is very much a disease that affects the whole family and having support is important. 

The doctors and hospital staff at LHSC were very supportive and provided us with lots of information and time to talk so that we felt like we could make the right choices for our situation. Jeff had just turned 48 and this was not something we expected to happen. What if he hadn’t gone in for a checkup?  Much to our great relief, doctors caught the cancer in time and the surgery was successful. 

Over the past year, we have met and heard about more young men getting this disease and more can be done for treatment the earlier it is caught.  Please encourage your loved ones to have regular checkups with their doctor and advocate for your health!

We feel so fortunate to be able participate as a family in Dash 4 Dad. The more awareness and money that’s raised for prostate cancer; the more people will get their checkups and receive treatment that continues to improve as local research advances.  

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