Just to give you the general picture of how things came
about I have been paying a private hospital to do prostate cancer screening for the last five years as during that time I
wasn't a resident of Spain and so didn't have access to their National Health Service. At a cost of £35 once a year
I thought it was money well spent. This included blood tests, a scan of my prostate for exact size measurement and a rectal
examination by the specialist to check once more for size and smoothness. The rectal exam isn't nice but there is no pain
involved. For the first two years my PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) reading was 2.1 and 2.2 which is ok for a man of my age,
65 as it was then. The tests did pick up that I had a very high cholesterol level however. Worth the £35 quid alone. A good
diet of fresh veg, fruit, chicken, plenty of water and no red meats or animal fats soon brought it back down to more normal
levels, 190 to 200, in two months.
Then the 2001 check showed the PSA up to 3.5 and the
prostate a little larger. This enlargement is apparently quite normal in all men as they get older, and is, of itself, nothing
to worry about, unless it gets so large that it interferes with the urinary process. The increase in PSA would have to be
kept an eye on the following year.
In 2002 however, my wife sustained a smashed ankle while
we were out mountain walking.This happened round about the same time I was supposed to go for my checkup which went
by the board because my wife had a lengthy operation followed by weeks of recovery. Wheelchairs and physiotherapy sessions
by the dozen kept us occupied up to Christmas 2002.
Because of the excellent medical care my wife had received
we decided it was about time we became official residents of Spain and join their National Health Service. All her care from
the accident had been done on an E111, which is exactly what that form is for, accidents. Paperwork, from both the UK and
Spain, plus photographs, were gathered together and the wheels set in motion so that by February 2003 we had
a doctor on the Spanish National Health Service. Click on link shown below for further details.