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Men with prostate cancer have “worst” NHS experience

PinkNews Staff Writer March 4, 2009

A new survey has revealed a lack of knowledge 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.

The Prostate Cancer Charity said men diagnosed with the disease report the worst NHS experience of all common cancers.

A recent survey carried out for the charity found 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.”

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