With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Naoise Kennedy

Prostate cancer survivor since 2016

Naoise was diagnosed with prostate cancer in mid-2016 but it was decided that no medical intervention was needed at this time. Instead he is being treated with “active surveillance”, where he is regularly monitored to ensure the cancer has not grown or spread.

I would call what I am doing “active lifestyle management” and not just monitoring. My son works with Cancer Research UK and he would be very much of the opinion that lifestyle can influence cancer. Certainly there are things you can do in terms of diet and exercise. I have given up dairy and I try to avoid red meat – I eat so much fish now and I wouldn’t have touched it before my diagnosis. I walk around 50km a week, I try to keep my Body Mass Index (BMI) within the healthy range and I try not to get stressed. I will get checked every six months to make sure nothing has gone out of kilter.

I work in international IT and cover an area from Scandinavia down to South Africa so my travelling for work has certainly not been impacted by the diagnosis. It’s probably harder to be healthy when you travel a lot but I try my best. It’s possible to continue as normal but it’s more about having a measured approach to everything.

There was a tendency towards overtreatment with lots of types of cancer in years gone by. With my cancer they probably would have operated almost automatically years ago, but now they are taking a much more conservative approach.

As my wife was diagnosed twice with breast cancer, I was disappointed to get my diagnosis, but I didn’t find it surprising because so many people I know have it or have had it. I don’t see it as a death sentence, rather I see it as a life extender because I have changed my lifestyle in so many positive ways and hopefully that will add years.

I just turned 60 and I will be having a big bash with my family and friends now that I have received clarity on how I am. We are all heading to New York in November. Sixty is a good age to take stock, and there will be lots more parties to come.