Jools Holland bravely speaks about prostate cancer battle for the first time

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Iconic musician and star of BBC series, Later…with Jools Holland, Jools Holland 64, has spoken about his diagnosis of prostate cancer in 2014. In an interview with PA, Jools spoke about how he was diagnosed unexpectedly after a routine blood test.

Jools was not showing any signs or symptoms of prostate cancer at the time.

The diagnosis led to Jools undergoing treatment successfully.

“I had no awareness of prostate cancer, no symptoms that I noticed whatsoever until I was diagnosed following a routine blood test in 2014.

“Thankfully I was successfully treated, but if more people were aware of their risk and caught the disease early, then more lives would be saved,” he said.

The pianist is now raising awareness of prostate cancer and has announced a musical event in support of Prostate Cancer UK, which will take place on June 22.
Working in collaboration with the charity, Jools said of the Raise the Roof event: ”If I can bring people’s awareness to the facts of prostate cancer then I would certainly stand on top of my piano and shout about it because I think it’s really important.”
“If Raise the Roof was able to achieve this and save one man’s life, it would be the best thing ever that would come out of this.”

The event will be held at the Royal Albert Hall and will feature Paul Weller and Melanie C, as well as comedians Shaparak Khorsandi, Gina Yashere and Stephen K Amos – with more names yet to be announced.

Funds raised will go towards research into helping to find a better testing approach to prostate cancer and one which could be used for a UK-wide screening programme, the charity said.

Jools told PA: “People often think ‘this is something that happens to other people’.

“It’s not like I felt any different.

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“It’s not like I suddenly felt ill, except you suddenly have this thing hanging over your head and you think ‘hang on, don’t people die from all this?’

“So obviously that was of concern, but then once I started talking to Professor Waxman [Prostate Cancer UK founder] I realised there are all sorts of ways of dealing with it if caught early.

“Had I not had that routine test, where something had shown up, then I would have just gone on and on until it was perhaps too late to have done anything about it.

“And that’s why it’s really important for men to be aware of the facts of prostate cancer and understand their risk…

“One thing I would suggest is going on the Prostate Cancer UK website and to their risk checker page where you will quite quickly work out what your risk of having this disease is.

“And at least that is a starting point.”

Professor Peter Johnson, national clinical director for cancer for NHS England, said: “As Jools’s experience shows, prostate cancer often has no symptoms when it’s at an early stage – so it’s vitally important that men are aware of their prostate cancer risk and feel comfortable discussing this with their GP.

“Only then can we help diagnose more men early on, before the cancer spreads.”

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