Date Published: 31 October 2005
UK Government increase funding for prostate cancer awareness
UK Health Minister Rosie Winterton announced
a new public awareness campaign today.
She said that thousands of men will be more prostate cancer aware thanks to this new public awareness campaign, which is being funded by the Government.
Although prostate cancer has overtaken lung cancer as the most common cancer diagnosed in men, people do not have the same level of awareness about the disease as they do for other cancers such as lung or breast cancer. This new initiative - a collaboration between the Department of Health and members of the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action - aims to educate people about the signs and symptoms of the condition and encourage men to speak more openly about it.
The pilot campaign, which is intended to raise awareness of the prostate and its function, will take place in an NHS Primary Care Trust area and its impact on the local population and the effect it has on NHS services will be evaluated. If successful, the initiative could be replicated across the country.
Speaking at the launch of the second Prostate Cancer Charter for Action at the House of Commons, Rosie Winterton said:
" We take prostate cancer very seriously. We published the NHS Prostate Cancer Programme in 2001 to give prostate cancer the priority it deserves and since then, a lot of excellent progress has been made. We set a Government spending target for research into prostate cancer and are ensuring that prostate cancer patients are diagnosed and treated quickly ? over 98 per cent of patients with suspected prostate cancer urgently referred by their GP are now seen by a consultant within two weeks.
_ But there is more to do. We recognise that public awareness of prostate cancer could be improved and this is why I am announcing that the Department of Health will be providing £100,000 towards a public awareness programme. An additional £50,000 for the pilot will be provided by signatories of the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action. This collaborative approach is a good example of Government and key stakeholders working together for the benefit of the public.
_ I am pleased to say that another collaborative project, UK Prostate Link, will be officially launched at the National Prostate Cancer conference on Thursday of this week. This is the first comprehensive online source of information of its kind, and will help prostate cancer patients, their families and health professionals to access the information they need about the disease."
Sandy Tyndale-Biscoe, patient representative on the Prostate Cancer Advisory Group said:
" Improving public awareness of the prostate and its function is crucial if we are to win the war on this major killer. That is why it has been a key demand of the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action and I am delighted that the Department is funding this pilot in partnership with the Charter for Action.
_ By improving awareness we can encourage men to seek help when they need it. This pilot will also be an important contribution to improving our knowledge about what works in raising awareness of health issues amongst men."
John Neate, Chairman of the UK Prostate Link Steering Group said:
" UK Prostate Link will be a unique, independent resource for patients, health professionals and others involved in the fight against prostate cancer. We expect that UK Prostate Link will act as an independent catalyst for change, stimulating debate on how to improve the range and quality of information available to all those with a stake in tackling the disease."
Source(s): UK Gov., Dept Health