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Thursday, 30 January, 2003, 11:13 GMT
Action urged on prostate cancer
Charities want more money for research
More money must be made available to treat men with prostate cancer, leading charities have warned.

They have also called on ministers to increase funding for research into the disease.

Their calls come just months after prostate cancer was confirmed as leading cause of cancer in British men.

We intend to set up a prostate cancer advisory group

Hazel Blears,
Public Health Minister
An estimated 21,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and the disease affects one in 13 men.

Charities unveiled a new prostate cancer charter in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Improvements

The charter sets out key areas for change. It calls for immediate action from the government and NHS to take immediate action to tackle the rising incidence of prostate cancer.

In addition, it urges greater transparency in the way the disease is dealt with in the UK and better public awareness.

In a statement, the charities stated: "The charter aims to act as Britain's agenda for action on prostate cancer and sets out what is needed to effectively tackle a disease that kills around 10,000 men each year."

Speaking at the launch, Professor Roger Kirby of St George's Hospital London said he hoped the charter would be backed by ministers.

"This charter must receive the government support it needs to succeed.

"I see too many men who cannot be given the information that they so desperately need about their cancer and too many who are dying unnecessarily.

"Today represents a unique opportunity to make a difference to men's lives."

Government action

Speaking at the launch, Public Health Minister Hazel Blears pledged to take action.

She said: "In order to ensure better collaboration and communication between the charter members and government I am glad to announce today that we intend to set up a prostate cancer advisory group."

The group will be headed by Professor Mike Richards, the government's cancer tsar.

The first sign of prostate cancer is usually problems passing water - usually an increased frequency or difficulty maintaining a full stream.

Painful urination or ejaculation, blood in urine or semen, or pain in lower back, hips or thighs are also potential symptoms.

The charter is backed by 17 cancer charities and professional groups, including Cancer Research UK, the Prostate Cancer Charity and the Men's Health Forum.

See also:

26 Sep 02 | Health
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22 Jan 02 | Health
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