Prostate Cancer Shouldn't Be Left To Chance

Posted on: 04 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

A new campaign backed by Sir Geoff Hurst MBE reveals 7 out of 10 men with advanced prostate cancer do not receive chemotherapy despite being eligible for treatment.

England’s 1966 World Cup legend Sir Geoff Hurst, MBE, has this week appealed for all men with prostate cancer to get access to the best care.

Backed by leading doctors, MPs and patient groups, it has emerged that 7 out of 10 with the advanced disease do not receive chemotherapy despite being eligible for treatment.

Senior cancer specialists warned that while some men may have been offered chemotherapy and turned it down, others may never have been given the option at all, and so many patients are currently not being offered the full choice of treatments that could extend their lives.

Launched by former football hero Hurst, at the Houses of Parliament, the campaign is calling for all men with prostate cancer to be made fully aware of their options.  To illustrate the issue, he was joined by 10 men of which seven were dressed only in underwear bearing the campaign’s distinctive dice logo and slogan: "Access to prostate cancer care shouldn’t be left to chance."

An early day motion supporting the ‘7 out of 10’ campaign, has been laid down in Parliament which MPs are being urged to sign.

Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords are also being encouraged to ask Parliamentary questions and write to their NHS Trust about whether patients are being offered all treatment options, including chemotherapy, in line with NICE guidelines.

Around 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK.  It kills around 10,000 men every year, or 27 every day, placing it second only to lung cancer as the most common cancer killer of men.

Launching the new campaign, Sir Geoff Hurst, MBE, whose hat trick famously won the 1966 World Cup final for England, says, “Like any footballer, luck as well as skill has played a part in my success.”

“There are some who would argue that were it not for a fortunate decision by the linesman on my second goal in the final in 1966, England might not have gone on to win the World Cup.”

“However when it comes to your health, none of us want to take any chances and so that is why I am backing this campaign.”

“It is important that men with this disease, which is the most common cancer in British men, know all their options so they can make informed decisions and get the best possible care they can.”

10 men representing prostate cancer patients Metastatic hormone refractory prostate cancer (mHRPC) is an advanced stage of the disease at which the tumour initially stops responding to hormone therapy. 

There are a range of treatment options for patients at this stage of the disease including bone-targeted therapies, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Of the 10,000 men who die from prostate cancer each year it is believed most are in men with mHRPC.

It is estimated that almost half may have been fit enough to receive chemotherapy, yet only 1,421 patients actually received chemotherapy in 2007, leaving seven in 10 missing out on this treatment option.

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with prostate cancer? Was chemotherapy offered?

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