Raising awareness of the signs, symptoms of prostate diseases

Norma Macleod is pictured with the Hebridean Men's Cancer Group earlier this month
Norma Macleod is pictured with the Hebridean Men's Cancer Group earlier this month

NHS Western Isles recently visited the Hebridean Men’s Cancer Group to raise awareness of, and provide information on, the full range of prostate diseases, using a new workplace toolkit.

The workplace toolkit has been produced by Prostate Scotland and includes information on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH, or prostate enlargement), Prostatitis and Prostate Cancer.

The target audience is men over 50 years of age, as it is often challenging to get men to talk about urinary symptoms and indeed many put up with symptoms for many months before seeing their GP.

Scottish Government statistics on cancer care in fact show that patient symptom reporting and referral times for prostate cancer were the longest amongst a group of six key cancers, with 100 days elapsing between patients noticing symptoms and referring themselves, compared with under 40 days for breast cancer.

The statistics for prostate disease are very concerning:

- Prostate disease may affect nearly one in two men in Scotland over middle age.

- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in Scotland.

- There is a one in 12 lifetime risk of a man developing prostate cancer.

- There is a greater risk of a man getting prostate cancer if a close family relative has or had prostate cancer or if there is a strong family history of certain types of breast cancer.

- Projections by the NHS in Scotland show that there is likely to be an increase of 48 per cent in the numbers of men with prostate cancer over the next 10 years to 2020.

The workplace toolkit is a good way of getting information about prostate disease to men and their families via the workplace.

Norma Macleod, Healthy Working Lives Advisor for NHS Western Isles, took the toolkit to the Hebridean Men’s Cancer Group at their weekly meeting in Stornoway on Friday November 16th, and after working their way through the toolkit, members agreed that the information would be beneficial to help raise awareness of signs, symptoms and treatment.

Toolkits can be ordered free of charge by contacting Mae Bell, Information and Advice Co-ordinator, Prostate Scotland on 0131 226 8157 or at mae.bell@prostatescotland.org.uk.