Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray has pledged to support Prostate Cancer UK in its drive to eradicate the injustices faced by men with, and at risk of, prostate cancer in Scotland.
Despite being the most common male cancer, men continue to face a number of injustices surrounding awareness, treatments and support, geography, age, and ethnicity.
Prostate Cancer UK has published a document outlining these five key inequalities, along with a solution designed to tackle each one. The charity is working with MSPs to call on the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to implement these changes to make the inequalities a thing of the past.
The ‘Men United v Prostate Cancer - Five Inequalities, Five Solutions’ document comes as part of the second wave of the charity’s Men United campaign, which uses the language of sport to engage men in the battle against the disease. Key calls to action include: the incorporation of prostate cancer in the Detect Cancer Early initiative (1), the introduction of at least one specialist centre for robot-assisted prostate surgery in Scotland (2) and the development of a National Cancer Patient Experience Survey for Scotland (3).
At the briefing in the Scottish Parliament, Elaine met men and women whose lives have been directly or indirectly touched by prostate cancer and hear at first hand about the inequalities men continue to face.
Speaking after the event, Elaine said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is predicted to be the most common cancer overall by 2030. Despite this men and their families continue to face difficulties relating to awareness of risk factors, treatments and support, geography, age, and ethnicity. I want to ensure that all men in Scotland have the information, treatment options and support they need to tackle this terrible disease regardless of their age, ethnicity or post code – and am delighted to team up with Prostate Cancer UK today to work towards this outcome together.”
Dr Sarah Cant, Director of Policy and Strategy at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “For too long men with, or at risk of, prostate cancer in Scotland have faced inequalities of care, information and support. For example, despite being the most common cancer in men, prostate cancer has yet to be included in the Detect Cancer Early initiative. Furthermore, there are 33 facilities for robot-assisted prostate surgery in England, but none in Scotland. Scotland also remains the only part of the UK with no plans for a National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, which would give us key information to help drive improvements in care and support. These are just some of the actions we call for in ‘5 Inequalities, 5 Solutions’ and are delighted that Elaine and other MSPs have committed to helping us fight for these longstanding wrongs to be righted.”
For more information on the injustices faced by men living with or at risk of prostate cancer in Scotland visit: http://prostatecanceruk.org/media/2385585/inequalities-report-scotland.pdf
Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can call Prostate Cancer UK's confidential information service on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org. Telephone calls are free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 8pm on Wednesdays.