"Everyone deserves a chance at a better, healthier life. If I can be a small part of that hope, it's worth it."

Actor Arnold Jeffrey Phillips, 76, from Neath, took part in the Add Aspirin research study investigating whether taking a dose of aspirin daily can stop cancer from coming back after treatment.

Arnold, a research participant

Arnold was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015 and by the spring of 2016 had surgery and started on the Add Aspirin research study. Arnold had has always seen the benefit of research and finding new treatments, especially after his twin brother passed away from AIDS in 1994.

Arnold said:

“It was like a part of me died with my brother and that pain made me realise how precious life is. That's one big reason why I didn't hesitate to be part of the study.

"Everyone deserves a chance at a better, healthier life. If I can be a small part of that hope, it's worth it."

Why did you choose to take part in the study?

Opting for surgery, Arnold's appreciation for the medical field and research grew as he met his urology team.

“They were very special people – lovely but straightforward. They asked me after my recovery if I wanted to join the study since I fit the criteria.

“In this case, they were looking into whether or not there was a way to use the simplest and cheapest of drugs to either reduce or remove the risk of cancer coming back, so I couldn’t say no.

“I wanted to give something back. I wanted to, in a very small way, help people.”

What was your experience of taking part in the study? 

For five years, Arnold took a daily aspirin tablet and attended regular check-ups.

“It became a part of my routine. I felt cared for. I had virtual or in-person check-ups with the team every four months.”

What would you say to other people about taking part in research? 

Arnold emphasised the importance of taking part in research, not just for personal benefits but as a contribution to the future health of society. He supports research because he believes it can save lives. 

"Research is vital. I'd recommend taking part in a study to anyone because we're investing in people's future health and it's a privilege to be able to do it."

Where would we be without research?

Arnold's story highlights the potential of taking part in a study beyond the individual impact. His experience shows the broader importance of research in shaping health and social care. From the breakthroughs that followed his brother's passing to his own journey with prostate cancer, Arnold stands as a testament to the power of research in improving and saving lives.

How you can get involved in research

Sign up to Be Part of Research to be contacted about a range of health and care research. Or check out our full list of studies to see if one is right for you.

And if taking part in a study doesn’t feel right at the moment there are other ways to get involved in research.