Throughout the duration of Prostate Cancer UK's Sledgehammer
Fund campaign, Trustees from the charity have been sharing
their own experiences of the disease as part of their mission to
help crack prostate cancer once and for all. This has resulted in a
number of excellent print interviews, raising awareness and
improving understanding of the disease - both within the general
public but also throughout the clinical profession.
Professor Roger Kirby, an eminent prostate cancer surgeon, was
recently diagnosed with localised disease. Dr John Anderson is an
internationally respected consultant urologist who is currently
dealing with advanced disease. Both Trustees featured in a double
page spread in the Daily Mail's 'Good Health' pages alongside
fellow clinician Damian Hanbury. By being so open about their
stories they hope to start to break down some of the taboos which
still surround the most common cancer in men.
The piece had an excellent response, sparking a lift in calls to
Cancer UKs helpline and generating further interest in the
media. Just last week John, who is currently being treated with
hormone and chemo therapies to contain his cancer, was interviewed
at length on ITV's Calendar News which is broadcast across
Roger, who has recently undergone surgery to remove his prostate
after many years of being 'on the other side of the table', also
featured in an in-depth interview for The Economist's Intelligent Life magazine earlier in the
month. This candid report from the operating theatre is both a
personal and professional perspective on a very delicate time.
Roger, John and Damian also featured in specialist publication
'Trends in Urology' in a discursive article
authored by the group which was joined by the clinician, Sean
Vesey. The piece looks at what can be learnt from their differing
experiences to help improve the approach to prostate cancer in the
future. It highlighted that, when it comes to treatment, it's
absolutely not 'one size fits all'.
Seamus O'Farrell, Director of Communications at Prostate Cancer
UK said: "This disease kills one man every hour, yet we still don't
know nearly enough about it. I respect Roger and John hugely for
being brave enough to share their personal journey's through
treatment to help raise understanding of the issue. Both are
clinical experts in the field and their unique viewpoints truly
highlight how different every man's experience will be, and how
much more there is to explore in terms of developing treatment,
diagnosis and everything in between.
"We launched The Sledgehammer Fund campaign at the
beginning of the year to start to address these challenges and
bring about real change for men - raising the profile of the
disease and generating cash to increase research and improve
support services. Change is already starting to happen, but this is
only the beginning, and we need to keep up the pressure and speak
out as Roger and John have done. Together we can and must crack
prostate cancer once and for all."