Health & Fitness

From prostate cancer to gastric bands – Dr Jeff answers your health questions

DR Jeff Foster is The Sun on Sunday’s resident doctor and is here to help YOU.

Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women.

Dr Jeff Foster is The Sun on Sunday’s resident doctor and is here to help you

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Q) MY 74-year-old husband had his prostate removed when he was 60.

He didn’t need any radiotherapy or chemotherapy and has yearly prostate specific antigen (PSA) checks.

In the last four years the level has risen to 1.3.

I know this amount isn’t concerning but should it be increasing considering the prostate was removed?

Suzanne Gibbs, Manchester

A) Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men.

It’s estimated that if we live long enough, every man will get some cancerous cells in theirs, but it doesn’t mean it will lead to harm, cause death, or need treatment.

There are no national screening programmes in place for prostate cancer because there is nothing we have available that is accurate enough to be used.

We currently rely on the PSA blood test to decide if men need further imaging or tests.

If this level is high, we usually send patients to a specialist or arrange a scan.

The problem with the PSA test is that it’s easy to get false positives (the level is high but it is not cancer) but more worryingly, false negatives, where the blood test is normal but the cancer is still very aggressive.

For this reason we cannot roll out the PSA as a national screening tool.

The test is not useless and it’s the best we have.

In your husband’s case, you should talk to your ­doctor as it might be worth speaking to a urologist to see if further testing is required.

Q) I AM a 55-year-old man and work as a driver.

I had a gastric bypass in 2018 and went from 24st to 13st 10lb, but in the last year I’ve put 2st back on and crave all the junk food like before, if not worse.

Is this normal?

Richard Roberts, Birmingham

A) A gastric band changes your stomach, not your brain and it can be very hard to retrain your brain if you have always craved these foods.

Gastric bands work by physically reducing the amount of food you can get into your stomach but this procedure only works if it’s combined with a lifelong change in physical activity and healthy eating.

Gastric-band cases will fail if patients don’t grasp the lifestyle changes required to maintain a healthy weight.

The surgery only acts as a facilitator to allow the rest of the diet and exercise process to be easier.

In the NHS, patients attend a programme with a dietician before being considered for surgery.

If you’re craving junk food, speak to a dietician or health psychologist to see how you might be able to get yourself back to a healthier lifestyle.

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