This week’s charity visitors,Prostate Cancer UK, visit Dens as part of the community initiative. DFCSS caught up with Elaine Nixon, the Campaigns & Media Manager Scotland for Prostate Cancer UK to find out what they do.
Already the most common cancer in men, prostate cancer is predicted to become the most common cancer of all by 2030. Prostate cancer kills one man every hour, 10,000 a year in the UK.
Despite this breast cancer — the most common female cancer which has a similar death rate as prostate cancer — receives more than double the annual research spend (£853 per case diagnosed compared to £417 for prostate cancer).
At the start of the start of the year, Prostate Cancer UK launched The Sledgehammer Fund to raise money to crack this dreadful disease. Funds raised will help Prostate Cancer UK find answers by funding research; support men and provide vital information; and lead change, raising the profile of the disease and improving care.
You can donate now. It’s as easy as phoning us or sending a text. Donate £5 to The Sledgehammer Fund by texting CRACK to 70004, visiting prostatecanceruk.org or calling 0800 082 1199.
For further information about Prostate Cancer UK’s Sledgehammer Fund visit http://prostatecanceruk.org/sledgehammer
CASE STUDY - Alister Walker
Alister Walker, from Pitlochry, knows only too well how prevalent prostate cancer is, having been diagnosed with the disease in November 2006. That was over six years ago, and today the 59-year-old says he has a positive outlook for the future despite doctors being unable to cure his advanced prostate cancer. Since his diagnosis Alister underwent radiotherapy, and has since been receiving quarterly injections of oestrogeon – one of the side-effects of which is impotence.
Alister says: “I can remember the day I was told I had aggressive prostate cancer as though it was yesterday. The news hit me like a sledgehammer. “I first suspected something wasn’t right with my urine flow while on holiday in Spain. My wife Jane quickly made an appointment with my GP who then referred me to the hospital for further tests and examinations. When the oncology nurse confirmed that I had prostate cancer, I remember asking if I would see Christmas that year, but they were unable to give me any predictions. I was shocked and stunned.
“My consultant ruled out a prostatectomy (the surgical removal of the prostate gland) for my treatment – so I’ve been lucky not to suffer from one of its common side effects, incontinence. The biggest blow has been the effects of impotency, which I try to manage as best as I can. “I now visit the hospital for regular check-ups and receive my quarterly injections of oestrogeon to keep on top of the disease. Today I enjoy my life, my family, my passion for photography and I look forward to a few more healthy years to come. I consider myself very lucky.
“My message to men is don’t ignore your health, take control. Be aware of the existence of prostate cancer and consult your doctor if symptoms arise. It can be successfully treated if identified early.”
Alister owns a photographic hardware and printing business (JRS Photo Hardware) based on Scott Street in the heart of Perth and is an active volunteer for Prostate Cancer UK. There is currently no screening programme in place for prostate cancer in the UK, although men have a right to ask their GP for a PSA test. The test does not diagnose prostate cancer, but can indicate prostate problems that may or may not be cancer.
DFCSS would like to thank Prostate Cancer UK, and welcome them to Dens to spread the word about an issue that is vital in regard to men’s health. The Society would urge all our fans, male and female to take time out to have a word with our visitors, the information they can provide may help save the life of a loved one, or indeed your own. The Society would also like to take the opportunity to once again thank Jacqui Robertson and Team Dundee FC, who raised over £2600 for men’s Cancer charities during Movember.