Kevin Brennan: Labour MP for Cardiff West recovering after prostate cancer surgery

The Labour MP said: “I am recuperating very well and should require no further treatment.”

Labour MP Kevin Brennan has revealed that he is recovering after undergoing prostate cancer surgery.

The member for Cardiff West explained that was “recuperating very well and should require no further treatment”.

On Twitter, the veteran MP of more than 20 years stated that he had the surgery last week at University Hospital of Wales Cardiff.

He said: “The recuperation means that I will be working from my home in Cardiff West for the next few weeks rather than travelling to Parliament and Party Conference.

“My constituents can still contact my office as usual. I want to thank the superb NHS Wales doctors, nurses and staff at UHW for their incredible skill, professionalism, dedication and humanity – you are the best of us. Diolch yn fawr iawn.”

Mr Brennan, 62, encouraged other men to get checked for prostate cancer. He tweeted: “I am a fit and healthy man who had zero symptoms before diagnosis – over 50s ask your GP for a PSA test and get a scan if indicated as I did. Early diagnosis means you can monitor changes and intervene only if necessary.”

The Labour MP added: “Finally - seize the day – cherish your family and loved ones – help others - be kind and enjoy life.”

Mr Brennan was first elected as MP for Cardiff West in 2001, replacing Welsh political icon Rhodri Morgan. He held several ministerial roles in the New Labour governments and is also part of MP4, a band made up of politicians.

The dangers of prostate cancer have been highlighted recently after Scottish rugby star Kenny Logan’s diagnosis and BBC presenter Bill Turnbull’s death.

The BBC Breakfast presenter campaigned to raise awareness among those at risk as an ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK, which works to improve awareness and provides training and funding.

Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan is recovering from prostate cancer surgery. Credit: PA

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra).

When this happens, you may notice symptoms including:

  • an increased need to pee
  • straining while you pee
  • a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied

These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer.

It’s more likely they’re caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.

Bill Turnbull, the presenter who "woke up the nation" on BBC Breakfast for 15 years, has passed away after his battle with prostate cancer.

When should I see a GP?

If you have symptoms that could be caused by prostate cancer, you should visit a GP.

The GP is likely to:

  • ask for a urine sample to check for infection
  • take a blood sample to test your level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) – called PSA testing
  • examine your prostate by inserting a gloved finger into your bottom – called digital rectal examination

The GP will also assess your risk of having prostate cancer based on a number of factors, including your PSA levels and the results of your prostate examination, as well as your age, family history and ethnic group.

What are the tests for prostate cancer?

There’s no single test for prostate cancer, but the most commonly used tests for prostate cancer are:

  • blood tests
  • a physical examination of your prostate (known as a digital rectal examination, or DRE)
  • an MRI scan
  • a biopsy

What is the PSA blood test?

The blood test, called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, measures the level of PSA and may help detect early prostate cancer.

Men over 50 can ask for a PSA test from a GP, but they are not routinely offered PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer, as results can be unreliable.

This is because the PSA blood test is not specific to prostate cancer. Your PSA level can also be raised by other, non-cancerous conditions.

Raised PSA levels also cannot tell a doctor whether a man has life-threatening prostate cancer or not, but if you have a raised PSA level, you may be offered an MRI scan of the prostate to help doctors decide if you need further tests and treatment.