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Call for prostate cancer support

23 March 2015 08:51

A charity has called for more support for people living with prostate cancer

A charity has called for more support for people living with prostate cancer

More support is needed for the 30,000 men who are living with terminal prostate cancer in the UK, a new report says.

The number of patients with advanced and incurable prostate cancer is estimated to be a third higher than the equivalent for breast and bowel cancer, according to charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Research suggests that a man with advanced prostate cancer can now expect to survive an average of four years after being diagnosed. However, 84% will have at least one other serious health condition that will further affect their quality of life.

When someone is undergoing treatment or post-treatment for prostate cancer it can also be difficult getting travel insurance for a holiday abroad, but patients can arrange specialist cancer cover.

What Macmillan Cancer Support says

Jane Maher, joint chief medical officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, welcomes the news that survival rates are improving but stresses that people with advanced prostate cancer still need the support of the healthcare system even when the majority of their treatment is over.

"With the ongoing development of a cancer strategy for England and the imminent general election, this is the time for key decision makers to commit to prioritising cancer care and supporting people living with the disease to lead healthy and fulfilling lives after treatment," she says.

How one man lives with prostate cancer

In 2012, Bill Dodwell was diagnosed with advanced incurable prostate cancer.

The 61-year-old from Kidderminster says he found it extremely difficult to accept his fate when his oncologist told him he had around five years to live, but intends to make the most of the time he has.

One of the most difficult things he has to live with is the side-effects from the hormone therapy he receives to prevent the cancer from spreading any further in his body.

"I get hot flushes, suffer from fatigue, aching bones, and am now impotent without any sex drive. It's hard to deal with all this on a daily basis without it really affecting your morale," he says.