Tackling prostate cancer

Cancer is the scourge of our society: it comes in many forms and to people of all ages.

Prostate cancer is not so obvious as other forms of the disease and is therefore harder to test for.

Alistair Haw

Alistair Haw

Very little about the disease is understood by most men, or even considered by them as a hazard.

This is understood by Prostate Cancer UK, who state in their MANifsto: “It is absolutely imperative that the issue is lifted far higher on the nation’s health agenda.

“We are working with health professionals and policy makers to give it the prominence it deserves and to ensure that quality services are available when and where men need them.”

Prostate cancer is as big an issue for men as breast cancer is for women with more than a quarter of a million men living with the condition in the UK.

It can be successfully treated, if diagnosed early, but its discovery can be a little tricky.

Blood tests, at the moment, are unreliable and no test can consistently tell who has the life-threatening form of the disease.

There is currently no cure for a late diagnosis.

Treatment, in itself, can also pose problems with side effects that include incontinence, loss of sex drive and difficulties having sex.

All this can have a devastating impact on men’s bodies and their psychological health.

PCUK state: “There’s no universal agreement on how best to treat the disease in its early stages and NHS treatment varies across the UK.”

PCUK is on a matter of some urgency as the group fights to have more information about the disease investigated and the findings put into the public arena.

This, the group contends, will be a start.

Here we speak to Alistair Haw: Prostate Cancer UK’s campaigns and media manager about the work they do and the services they provide.