A SCOUT group is to raise funds and awareness for Prostate Cymru after its leader was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

11th Barry Sea Scouts, based in Illminster Street, are inviting all to join them for a big breakfast, from 9am to 11pm on Saturday, November 23.

Scout leader, Neil Murray, was diagnosed after a medic took note of his family history.

The 45-year-old dad-of-three said: “I am young to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“The most common age for men to be diagnosed is between 65 and 69 years-old.

“You can get prostate cancer at any age.

“The risk for the under 50s is very low, but it is possible as I prove.

“I was diagnosed in August this year, almost by accident.

“I had, and still have, no symptoms.”

Mr Murray’s father had heart problems in March this year and the consultant suggested he and his brothers see their GPs for a check-up to make sure their hearts were ok.

“My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer 15 years ago and his father also had prostate cancer,” Mr Murray said. “Knowing that the I had an increased risk of having the same cancer because of my family history I asked for the GP to check my PSA level (prostate specific antigen) while doing some blood tests, and my level came back as 4.2.

“For someone my age it should be under 2.5.

“An elevated PSA does not mean you have cancer.

“It just indicates there may be a problem.

“With a PSA level higher than it should have been my GP repeated the test four weeks later which saw my level rise to 5.3.

“I was then referred for a MRI and also to urology at the University Hospital of Wales where I had a biopsy.

“The end result of all this was I did have cancer.”

Mr Murray is awaiting a surgery date to remove the prostate which he has delayed until he witnesses his eldest daughter graduate from Middlesex University on December 10 – “with a Masters in Criminology which I don't want to miss.”

In September, his wife Stephanie came across the Prostate Cymru website and specifically their Big Breakfast fundraiser and he spoke to the scouts about it.

The scouts decided to hold their own Big Breakfast and earn their fundraising activity badge at the same time.

Both Asda and Morrisons Barry stores have given donations, as well as several friends and family of members of the scout group.

Mr Murray added: “If any man out there is concerned about prostate cancer then the first thing you need to do is have a chat with your GP.

“This is something we're not that good at. According to Prostate Cymru one in eight men Wales will get prostate cancer.

“That statistic increases to one in three if like me there is a family history.”

Symptoms tend to be a frequent need to urinate, weak or interrupted flow, the urge to urinate frequently at night, pain whilst urinating, blood in the urine and problems getting an erection.

But it’s important to remember just because you have any of these symptoms does not mean you have cancer.

“There are other conditions that it could be,” he said. “Likewise, you can have none of these symptoms and have cancer, which is what happened to me.

“I'm very lucky.

“I have been diagnosed very early which means that once the operation has been done, I should be fine.

“I also have lots of support from my family and from a crazy bunch of friends who are there for me and my family. I also have understanding employers who have been very supportive.

“Early diagnosis is key.

“The earlier it’s caught the better the prognosis.

“The more money we raise for organisations like Prostate Cymru, the more research can be done on detection and treatment of prostate cancer and maybe one day in the not too distant future it can be prevented.

“Telling your children you have cancer is incredibly difficult and I was lucky in that mine was caught so early.”

For information, visit prostatecymru.com