MP backs charity call for more prostate cancer information

April 11, 2011 11:48 AM

Tom Brake showed his support last week for a new campaign aiming to increase awareness of prostate cancer among men at high risk of the disease.

The MP for Carshalton and Wallington attended the 'Testing Choices' campaign drop-in session in Parliament organised by The Prostate Cancer Charity to meet with Peter Ford, a Sutton resident who had suffered from the disease.

Prostate Cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in the UK, affecting some 250,000 men across the country. Those most at risk are men over fifty, those from an African Caribbean background or those who have a family history of the disease.

Men over fifty are entitled to ask their GP for a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test to help diagnose any prostate problems. However, the charity estimates that over 65% of men are unaware of the existence of the test. Though there are potential risks to treatment, including urinary and bowel problems, Tom was keen to emphasise the importance of considering it.

He said: "Not all men who are at a high risk of prostate cancer know much about it, let alone how it can be diagnosed or treated. Peter's experiences are sadly not unique, and the disease affects a great number of men every year. I would urge all men over 50 to look seriously into the possibility of taking the test and decide whether it is the right thing for them."

Tom continued: "I have written to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to ask the Department of Health to develop programmes to provide men at high risk with more information about the PSA test, and whether he himself would be willing to meet with the Charity to discuss the issue further."

For more information about Prostate Cancer you can call the Prostate Cancer Charity's helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostate-cancer.org.uk.

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