When you’re a professional darts participant called ‘Wolfie,’ a former 3‑instances international champion still grounded sufficient to enjoy gambling for free in the nearby leagues, it’s miles obvious why a pub will open only for you earlier than 10 a.m. on a Friday. Murky daylight seeps into The Bell in Deeping St James, not far from Peterborough, as Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams discusses a silent killer.
“A lot of humans call it the silent killer because there are not necessarily any signs and symptoms,” Adams says of most prostate cancers, which took hold of him within the spring of 2016. “I didn’t have any symptoms, and I recognize masses of human beings which have never had any signs – or it’s been minor stuff they’ve brushed aside.” Even while there are early warnings, men nonetheless succumb. “Yeah,” Adams says, “guys are horrible at speaking me approximately our fitness, aren’t we? It’s one of these matters we’ve were given to learn to do. You can’t go away it to the ladies chattering in the corner. You’ve got to talk among yourselves.”
Even the owner has stopped hoovering and pulled up a chair on the bar so that he can listen in at a discreet distance. The wintry light catches the chunky sovereign earrings on Adams’s arms as his voice resounds around the hushed pub. “Some of my pals discovered it pretty tough to speak to me. I used to drink in right here with a guy, and while it got here out inside the public domain that I’d got prostate cancer, I turned into chatting with him down the rugby membership. He went: ‘You didn’t understand I had it, did you? I had the operation a few years ago and you in no way knew, did you?’ I said: ‘No, because you never bloody advised me.’ Us blokes don’t speak about it. We ought to do.”
I was sent some stark records through Macmillan Cancer Support, the charity that facilitates so many human beings once they face the brutal prospect of death. Men are 14% more likely to have cancer than women and 37% more likely to die than people living with female cancer. They are also a good deal much less likely to ask for help. “One in 8 men can be recognized with prostate cancer,” Adams says. “And in case you’re black, it’s one in four. Unbelievable. It shouldn’t simply be right down to charitable companies – the authorities should be doing greater. They must prevent losing cash somewhere else and channel it into most cancers studies. But our government does some bloody silly things.”
The sixty-one-year-old Adams will lead a Macmillan marketing campaign “aimed at working guys. Blokes at the building web page. You come inside the pub but, as opposed to talking approximately soccer, speak approximately your health. You can bet your existence in case you’ve got 8 blokes in here one among them ought to have prostate most cancers and not understand it.” How did Adams discover he had cancer? “Purely through risk. I turned into giving up smoking, and I became occurring the Champix capsules. My GP is excellent and stated: ‘If you want to do this, we’ll do a complete set of blood tests first. So he did the blood assessments, and then I had a phone call: ‘We’ve booked you an appointment with oncology in Peterborough.’”
Adams shakes his head on the memory of the blood exams, MRI scans, and biopsies that fed on him. “I do not forget the consultant confirmed me the MRI and stated: ‘My interpretation is there are cancer cells simply there, and sadly that’s the hardest a part of the prostate to reach for biopsies. So we need you to do it again.’ They found cancer on the second one lot of biopsies. You then go through a complete-frame bone scan to ensure it’s now not long past in the bones. That was all clean. So I had 20 radiotherapy periods over 4 weeks.”
Adams could not be sure if cancer would be destroyed. However, he says: “I never thought approximately death. I had a variety of true friends who said you’ve were given to remain wonderful. I was given via the radiotherapy and then you wait 8 weeks – and this is the longest 8 weeks of your lifestyles.
“That last week drags and drags. You’ve were given to have your PSA [prostate specific antigen] blood check first, and mine was zero.01, surely untraceable. I said: ‘Is that an all‑clear?’ The consultant said: ‘It’s as suitable an all-clear as we can provide.’ They would in no way provide you with a hundred% because, unluckily, cancer has a habit of coming again. It’s now not something you live on. You keep on. “But with all the hormone remedy all through radiotherapy, you get emotional. You cry for no purpose. Leigh [his partner] could say: ‘What are you crying for?’ I would say: ‘I don’t realize.’ [Adams laughs.] Straight after radiotherapy, I did the British Classic on a Saturday, the British Open on Sunday. I played all right in the Classic, but the following day, I couldn’t hit an issue.”
Adams twirls his massive Wolfman ring and cackles. “It got into the public area because I chatted with Bob French – the local sports editor. We spoke about an upcoming occasion, and I said: ‘Experience tells me I’ll be suitable someday and garbage the subsequent.’ He went: ‘Why?’ I stated: ‘I’ve been struggling, and the prostate cancer isn’t helping.’ He stated: ‘Pardon?’ I went: ‘Oops. It’s accessible now.’ The support I’ve had from people is top-notch. I go to Tesco on a Monday morning, and that they’re all asking: ‘How’s your fitness?’ My checks are each six months, and the subsequent one is in May – so that it will be the 2-yr mark.”
Have most cancers changed him? “Yeah, it made me value the simple things in life. My gardening got terrific. It’s very peaceful in the garden, tinkering away, and this time of year is perfect because I just put my tomato seeds in. My tomatoes and marrows are excellent.” Adams has slipped to twenty sevenths inside the BDO rankings because his most cancers treatment started. Last month he misplaced narrowly, three-2, within the first round in opposition to the employer’s No 1 player Mark McGeeney. It changed into his twenty-fifth successive appearance in the BDO’s landmark match at Lakeside, and he’s proud now not to have left to play at the whole lot richer and a long way more famous PDC circuit – where his old rival Phil Taylor reached the final this 12 months in his closing in shape earlier than retiring.