Healthcare News

Making Prostate Cancer Matter, UK

February 19, 2017

Making Prostate Cancer Matter - Survey Reveals That Majority Of People Unaware That Men Diagnosed With The Most Common Cancer Subject To Injustice

People across the UK are still unaware that men living with prostate cancer - the most common cancer in men - continue to have to deal with the 'historical legacy of neglect' surrounding the disease.

It is a little known fact that men diagnosed with the disease report the worst NHS experience of all common cancers. A recent survey carried out for The Prostate Cancer Charity, in the run up to its first ever awareness month, showed that 80% of people remained unaware of the inequality of care for men with prostate cancer.

The Prostate Cancer Charity is using the month of March to raise awareness, not just of prostate cancer, but of some of the inequities surrounding the disease, under the banner, 'it matters'.

John Neate, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "People are not aware of some of the injustice around prostate cancer, which has suffered from a historical legacy of neglect. Long term underfunding of prostate cancer research, for example, has resulted in many unanswered questions about testing, treatments and care. We also know that men with prostate cancer report the worst NHS experience of all common cancers, often missing out on access to reliable support and information.

"The Government and NHS have placed an increased focus on prostate cancer, but urgent action is needed to implement its planned new programme to measure patient satisfaction, introduced through the Cancer Reform Strategy. Only then, can we see whether this increased focus is feeding through to convincing improvements in men's experience.

"Progress on reducing deaths from prostate cancer is firmly linked to the research agenda. Critically important is the need to develop a new generation test capable of distinguishing between aggressive and slow-growing forms of prostate cancer. This could form the basis for a national screening programme and would enable treatment to be focussed on those men for whom prostate cancer presents a serious risk to health. The Charity will undertake a number of actions to progress this, including lobbying for increased research into a new diagnostic test and prostate cancer prevention, as well as investing more in its own research programme."

PR Consultant, Max Clifford, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer himself, is supporting the awareness month. He said: "My own battle with prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men, showed me that much needs to be done to raise awareness of the prevalence and impact of the disease and its potential signs and symptoms, so that men can seek help early. It is also critical that more is invested in research, that credible information is made available for the 35,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and that their experience of treatment improves. This type of cancer affects more men in Britain than any other and that is why Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is so important."

The survey, carried out by Tickbox on behalf of the Charity, also underlined men's attitude to their health, with only 50% of British men saying they would visit the doctor if they were experiencing symptoms affecting an intimate part of their body. More than one in ten would prefer to sit tight, worry, and hope the symptoms will just go away. Responses also revealed that one in five men are more likely to confide in a partner or a close friend about an intimate illness than visit their doctor. Worryingly, 13% of British men will only visit a doctor after they've been coerced into it by their partners, friends or family.

John Neate explained: "The good news is that more people are becoming aware of just how common prostate cancer is. We have been trying to raise awareness of how many men and their families are affected - one in eleven men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime - and it looks as though that message is hitting home.

"We want to mobilise a movement for change in the UK in tackling prostate cancer. We can only do this when everyone is prepared to take some form of action - to donate their time, skills, support campaigns, raise funds and help raise awareness. I hope people will take the facts on board and do what they can to support Prostate Cancer Awareness Month," added Neate.

The theme of injustice is rooted in the Charity's newly-released strategy, 'Transforming the future for prostate cancer'. The strategy outlines five key goals, which the Charity believes will bring about the vital changes we must see for people affected by prostate cancer by 2020.

INTERVIEWS are available with John Neate and Max Clifford on request.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: Fact Box

- The Prostate Cancer Charity is staging its first ever Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, in March 2009. Extending the well-established Awareness Week to a month is an exciting development for The Prostate Cancer Charity, and reflects significant growth within the Charity and the event, which has grown year on year.

- Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. The 2005 National Audit Office report, "Tackling cancer: improving the patient journey", showed that men living with prostate cancer report the worst NHS experience of all common cancers. During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, The Prostate Cancer Charity is urging people to show 'it matters' to them.

- The Prostate Cancer Charity aims to reduce the death rate from prostate cancer by 30 per cent, from 25 per 100,000 to 18 per 100,000, by 2020. This would save the lives of around 3,000 men every year. Progress on reducing the mortality rate is firmly linked to the research agenda and the need to develop a new generation test capable of distinguishing between aggressive and slow-growing forms of prostate cancer.

- Thousands of individuals and groups across the UK will join forces to show that raising awareness of prostate cancer matters to them. There are numerous ways to get involved, from staging an information day to participating in a pub quiz, to raising funds.

- Anyone wanting to participate in Prostate Cancer Awareness Month can request an information pack from prostatecancermattersprostate-cancer or by calling 0208 222 7141

Notes

- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK. Every year in the UK, 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. One man dies every hour of prostate cancer in the UK.

- African Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men.

- The Prostate Cancer Charity is striving for a world where lives are no longer limited by prostate cancer. The Charity is fighting prostate cancer on every front - through research, support, information and campaigning.

- If you have any queries about prostate cancer, call The Prostate Cancer Charity's confidential Helpline 0800 074 8383 which is staffed by specialist nurses and open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and Wednesdays from 7 - 9pm or visit prostate-cancer

Prostate cancer