January 12, 2010 / 12:30 AM / 9 years ago

Andrew Lloyd Webber urges men to get cancer tests

Andrew Lloyd-Webber (2nd L) gestures towards Donny Osmond (L) as Lee Mead (2nd R) and Jason Donovan (R) walk across the stage during their performance at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London July 1, 2007. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is urging men over 50 years-old to get regular tests for prostate cancer after he was successfully treated for the disease last year and given the all-clear.

Lloyd Webber, 61, said in a health diary published on his website that he noticed the first symptoms of his cancer last summer and underwent an operation to remove his prostate gland after a biopsy came back positive.

He was told the cancer had been caught early and the treatment was successful, but he then battled an underlying e-coli infection that had been there all along.

“If that infection had been found and cured, I could have been blissfully unaware that I had a cancerous tumor that was on the verge of breaking loose around the rest of my body. I could have thought that my frequent peeing was due to a weak bladder. I have been bloody lucky,” wrote Lloyd Webber.

“I say to every red-blooded male, if you do begin to have a problem down under, however embarrassing, go to your GP at once. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, if you are over 50 get regular PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests.”

Lloyd Webber, the composer behind hit musicals including “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Cats” and “Starlight Express,” is staging a sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera” called “Love Never Dies” that is due to open in London in March this year.

He has also just kicked off a search for Dorothy to star in his West End production of “The Wizard of Oz” with his search to be the topic of a BBC television talent show.

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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