close

Global IT outage update - Monday 22 July

The issues affecting the supplier that provides our chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments have now been resolved.

We want to thank our patients for being understanding and bearing with us and we apologise for any delays caused by this. Unless our teams contact you, please attend your appointment as planned. Throughout this incident, we have prioritised the most clinically urgent patients.

The Christie provides care and treatment for hundreds of people every day. The global IT outage last Friday (19 July 2024) affected many organisations but to put it into context, this affected less than a third of our patients.

Our staff have worked tirelessly over the weekend to deliver as many chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments as possible and continue to do so to catch up on rescheduled treatments this week.

Skip to Content

Cancer awareness champion from Cheshire is reunited with his Christie consultant radiographer after 11 years

Press release posted 19 March 2024

A cancer survivor from Lymm in Cheshire has been reunited with the radiographer who helped to successfully treat him at The Christie in Manchester.

Phil Ormesher, age 75, a semi-retired surveyor, was treated for prostate cancer by consultant radiographer Cathy Taylor 11 years ago.

Phil was recently elected Governor of The Christie for the Cheshire area and wants to use his new platform to help raise prostate cancer awareness. He is particularly keen to thank the clinical team at The Christie who treated him, including Cathy Taylor and Dr John Logue.

Phil was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2012. Having lost his father to lung cancer, he was aware of how serious cancer is.

Although he had no symptoms at the time of diagnosis, a regular PSA blood test had indicated an increased risk of prostate cancer, which promoted further investigations. Thanks to a close friend's advice, Phil had been arranging annual PSA tests for several years. His first tests were normal, though they showed a slight increase each year, which is normal, but the level of PSA in the 2012 test went up by 50% in just one year.

Following the PSA test, Phil had an examination that found lumps that shouldn't be there, and a subsequent biopsy found cancer aggressive enough to need treatment rather than an 'active surveillance' approach. An MRI scan showed that the cancer was still in the early stages and was contained within the prostate.

Phil said: "I'm hugely grateful that my friend Mike Lockett talked so openly about his cancer and encouraged me to have regular PSA tests. It meant I was able to act promptly and catch and treat the cancer early to maximise my chances of survival."

He was referred to The Christie for treatment in January 2013 and, in March 2013, went through an internal form of radiotherapy called brachytherapy, where radioactive seeds are surgically implanted in the prostate. Phil made a good recovery with no side effects from the treatment, and seven months later, the treatment was deemed successful, with his PSA level back to a normal level. "I did have a slightly awkward time at Athens airport, though, explaining how I had managed to set off their radioactivity alarms," said Phil.

"The knowledge that my cancer had been found early and that the treatment had a good chance of success helped me get through the experience.

"My impression of The Christie when I was going through treatment was that it was first class. The Christie is rather special. It's a centre of excellence for cancer treatment, and I feel incredibly fortunate that it is on my doorstep."

A photo of Christie patient and governor Phil Ormesher on the right, reunited with his consultant radiographer at The Christie Cathy Taylor on the left after 11 years. The 2 are standing in front of the sculpture outside of The Christie entrance.
Phil Ormesher on the right, with consultant radiographer Cathy Taylor on the left.

"It was lovely to meet Cathy again after so many years. During my treatment, she was very reassuring that everything possible was being done and was also very friendly and caring."

Phil continues to have regular PSA tests and feels great. His most recent test showed a PSA level of 0.1, well inside the safety zone.

Since being diagnosed, Phil has made it his mission to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

"I consider myself to be very fortunate," said Phil. "I hope that sharing my story encourages men to learn more about prostate cancer and to get a regular PSA test. I also hope my experience demonstrates that prostate cancer doesn't have to be a killer if caught early enough.

"When I was first diagnosed, I was surprised about how little men, in general, knew about prostate cancer. I told my close family face-to-face and later emailed friends and colleagues.

"Coming from a sales and marketing background, I'm comfortable with public speaking. Since 2014, I have delivered over 430 individual talks to some 15,000 people, my largest 'client' being Rolls Royce aero engines, where I have delivered over 50 talks.

"Although I am not medically qualified, I have made prostate cancer my specialist subject, and several urologists and other medical professionals have complimented me for being factual and well-balanced. I am a trustee and ambassador for the awareness charity Prostate Cancer Support and a lead champion for Answer Cancer, a Manchester-based cancer awareness campaign.

"Very sadly, I have lost close friends to prostate cancer after it was diagnosed late and had already spread outside the prostate to other organs. One friend survived over 10 years following treatment, but another died at the age of 61, less than 2 years after diagnosis. Part of what drives me to raise awareness is that I don't want to lose any more friends or acquaintances to prostate cancer.

"Although some men will have slow-growing prostate cancer that may not cause any problems during their lifetime, others have fast-growing cancer that requires treatment to prevent it spreading, with the inevitable consequences.

"Early diagnosis is the key, but early-stage prostate cancer can be asymptomatic, with 4 out of 5 men having no symptoms. That's why I am passionate about raising awareness and keen to encourage men to get the PSA test done regularly, ideally annually, as this is the only early detection test available.

"Having the PSA tested annually allows you to see the pattern and whether the level is increasing over time; just having a one-off test isn't the most reliable way to find early-stage prostate cancer, as certain activities and conditions can skew the result."

When he isn't raising cancer awareness in his spare time, Phil enjoys golf, classic cars and sportscars.

Prostate cancer facts (sourced from Prostate Cancer UK)

  • In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
  • More than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year on average – that's 144 men every day.
  • Every 45 minutes, one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 12,000 men every year.
  • 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and the risk increases with age. The risk is even higher for black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.
  • Around 490,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

Last updated: March 2024