Health leaders heard a moving story about a man diagnosed with prostate cancer and his determination to outlive his prognosis for the sake of his young daughters and to help other men avoid his fate.
The video story of Lloyd Pinder was produced with Prostate Cancer UK and highlights not only the challenge of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but also the emotional and long term impact of the diagnosis.
In their first joint meeting members of Blackburn with Darwen, and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were struck by the emotional impact to Mr Pinder of his diagnosis, but also his desire to help men to improve their awareness of prostate cancer, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Members were listening to Mr Pinder’s story as part of the CCG’s focus on Movember the annual event during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer.
In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Across the country, there are more than 333,500 men living with and beyond the disease. Many are dealing with serious side effects from treatment.
Dr Richard Robinson, Hyndburn GP and Chair of East Lancashire CCG, said: “Mr Pinder’s story was incredibly moving and the GPs on the Governing Body reflected just how emotionally devastating a diagnosis can be, and the importance of prevention, effective diagnostics and treatment. Equally, the story offers hope for those affected and shows that there can be life beyond such a diagnosis.
“In Pennine Lancashire we have seen some real improvements in treatment for prostate cancer. East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust offers a one-stop clinic for prostate cancer patients to reduce time to diagnosis and treatment. There is also interesting work in progress to introduce precision biopsy which will speed up diagnosis and the production of self-care guides to support patients undergoing treatment.”
“Many men may not have any symptoms of prostate cancer, but men over 50 with the following symptoms, should make an appointment to see their GP:
• Urinary problems – weak urine stream, difficulty initiating urination, stopping and starting during urination; urinating frequently, especially at night, pain or burning with urination
• Blood in the urine and semen
• Pain in the hips, pelvis, spine or upper legs
• Pain or discomfort during ejaculation
• Difficulty getting an erection
“There’s no UK screening programme for prostate cancer. This is because the blood test that would be used (the PSA, or prostate specific antigen) isn’t reliable enough. In fact, because it isn’t reliable enough, the medical evidence is that for men without symptoms, the test doesn’t save lives and it can create unnecessary anxiety and worry as well as leading to unnecessary treatment and side effects.
“What we do know though is that black men and those with a strong family history are more at risk. However, whilst we should consider the family history, there is no clear evidence of the exact extent of this risk and whether PSA testing will make any difference.”
If men do have any of the symptoms described, they should see their GP. They may need a prostate examination and one or possibly two PSA tests to determine if further specialist assessment is needed.
The CCGs agreed to work with the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance to promote greater prostate cancer awareness and improve cancer services.
Watch the video of Lloyd Pinder telling his story:
For more information about Prostate Cancer – go to: https://prostatecanceruk.org/