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Men’s Health: Frank’s Story

Frank shared his experiences and outlined his mission to encourage men to prioritise their health and undergo regular screening for prostate cancer.

The hosts of Craftcast with Frank Tiller
The hosts of Craftcast with Frank Tiller

In Episode 2, Season 2 of Craftcast, the Freemasons Podcast, the hosts welcomed Frank Tiller, a London Freemason with a powerful story about his battle with prostate cancer and his efforts with the charity CHAPS to provide prostate screening nationwide.

With many male members in their audience, the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) felt it was important to give Frank a platform to share his experiences. Prostate cancer is often not talked about enough among men, even though it can affect people of all ages. Although not a medical expert, Frank shared his personal insights, backed up by statistics showing that about 5% of screening tests raise concerns, highlighting the need for further medical attention. This figure, applied to UGLE's extensive membership of 175,000, shows the significant number of potentially at-risk individuals.

Frank's presence on the podcast provided a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about prostate cancer and the importance of screening, emphasising its relevance to Freemasons and non-members alike. Throughout the episode, Frank recounted his journey with Freemasonry over the past 42 years, highlighting the fulfilling experiences it has offered. Frank then delved into his story, which began with a routine blood test revealing elevated PSA levels, indicating a potential issue with his prostate. Despite initially facing resistance from his GP, Frank insisted on further testing, ultimately leading to a diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer. He described the tough decisions he and his wife had to make about treatment, finally deciding on radical prostatectomy. Frank shared the challenges he faced during recovery, including dealing with incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Despite these challenges, Frank noticed a turning point 18 months later when things started to improve. This marked the beginning of his journey back to health, surprising him with the body's ability to heal. Frank remained hopeful, stressing the importance of early detection through PSA testing. He encouraged men to prioritise their health and get screened regularly, dispelling myths about the procedure's accuracy and invasiveness.

The hosts commended Frank for his bravery in sharing his story and emphasised the importance of proactive health management, urging listeners to take Frank's experience as a call to action. Overall, the episode served as a poignant reminder of the critical importance of prostate cancer awareness and screening, shedding light on a topic often overlooked in men's health discussions. 

The conversation delved into the challenges of overcoming the stigma and fear associated with prostate cancer testing. Frank emphasised the common reluctance among men to address their health proactively, often waiting until prompted by family members or experiencing symptoms. This reluctance, coupled with misconceptions about masculinity and the implications of a prostate cancer diagnosis, contributes to a significant barrier to early detection and treatment.

Frank Tiller, a Freemason with a powerful personal story, has taken it upon himself to raise awareness about prostate cancer within the Freemason community and beyond. Frank persevered despite initial challenges, including low attendance during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the assistance of medical professionals and other Freemasons, he successfully organised screening sessions, gradually increasing awareness and participation. Frank aims to expand screening initiatives across various Masonic Provinces, emphasising the potential to save lives through early detection. Frank's dedication to spreading awareness and saving lives exemplifies the spirit of Freemasonry – a commitment to serving others and promoting well-being within the community. As his mission continues to gain momentum, Frank Tiller stands as a beacon of hope and advocacy in the fight against prostate cancer.

Listen to the full 'Men’s Health: Frank’s Story' podcast

Listen to the rest of Craftcast podcast

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