November 30, 2004

Vital: First Special Nurse Targets ‘Forgotten Cancer’

IT'S the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK and one in 11 Scottish males will get the disease.

Yet prostate cancer is often thought of as a forgotten disease as other conditions have much higher profiles.

Now Scotland has its first dedicated Prostate Cancer Charity specialist nurse - Maureen Hamill, at Falkirk Royal Infirmary.

The post has been jointly funded by the charity and money raised by staff at Standard Life.

Every year 27,000 men are diagnosed with the disease in the UK while 10,000 will die from it. Yet if caught early on, prostate cancer is a very treatable disease.

Maureen, 42, says: 'Men don't often talk about their problems - many don't know where the prostate is - or what the symptoms are if something is wrong. It's a forgotten cancer.

'My aim is to provide support and information to men with suspected or diagnosed prostate cancer, in order to reduce anxiety and enhance their ability to live with all aspects of their disease.'

The prostate is a secondary sex gland in men which grows after the age of 40, and 95 per cent of cases of prostate cancer are among men over 60.

Yet the cancer can also strike younger men with cases being recorded of males in their 40s - although this is more unusual. There are various symptoms which could indicate prostate problems, from frequent or painful urination, to sexual difficulties, andpelvis, hips, thighs or back pain.

If you have any queries about prostate cancer call the Prostate Cancer Charity's confidential helpline 0845 300 8383.

If you want to make a donation to the Prostate Cancer Charity call 0208 222 7622 or visit