Fringe Box



The Prostate Project Says ‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’

Published on: 26 May, 2020
Updated on: 26 May, 2020

Alf Turner

The new chairman of Surrey charity The Prostate Project is encouraging men to see their GPs if they spot possible symptoms of Prostate cancer despite the ongoing Covid-19 emergency.

Alf Turner, also a director at the RSCH in charge of ordering all the PPE for the hospital trust, is taking over as chairman of the charity from its founder Colin Stokes.

Mr Turner said: “I am worried that there are men out there now who are suffering in silence. In short, they have the symptoms of prostate cancer but don’t want to bother their GP because they see the NHS under strain and they are worried about having to visit hospital when there is Covid-19 around.

“Our message to you in that the charity is open to support you, go and see your GP, and our excellent hospitals at the Royal Surrey Hospital and Frimley Park is ready for referrals. Cancer diagnosis and treatment continues but we have seen a big reduction in the number of people coming forward and we would like to reverse this because the system is open for business. Please do not suffer in silence.”

A selfie taken by doctors and theatre staff in the cancer department of the Royal Surrey

Prof Stephen Langley, Professor & Clinical Director of Urology at the Stokes Centre at the Royal Surrey said: “The Surrey and Sussex Cancer Hub is getting back to work safely, with Brachytherapy for prostate cancer back in business at the Stokes Centre for Urology at the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust.

“To ensure a Covid free centre the 3S’ are followed: Self-isolate, Swab, and Scan. All patients are screened with isolation, swabs and chest CT prior to surgery. All staff are swabbed clear. We have conducted 220 cancer operations in total in April”

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Men are twice as likely to get prostate cancer with a family history (brother, father or uncle) of the disease
  • Each year more than 48,561 men in the UK are told they have prostate cancer – that’s 129 men every day.
  • It kills one man every 45 minutes – that’s 32 men every day and 12,031 men who die of the disease every year
  • 1 in 8 men in the UK will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
  • Black men are a higher risk, so should consider having a PSA test from the age of 45

The Prostate Project is a registered charity established in 1998 by prostate cancer patient Colin Stokes and his consultant urological surgeon, Mr John Davies. Their ambition is to give men a better chance of beating prostate cancer.

In the past 20 years, they have raised over £8 million and helped the Royal Surrey County Hospital achieve “Centre of Excellence” status in the treatment of prostate cancer. They support the Royal Surrey County Hospital, St Luke’s Cancer Centre and Frimley Park Hospital in their efforts to detect and treat prostate cancer and they have provided equipment, specialist nursing staff and run an active patient support group.

In 2011, the Royal Surrey County Hospital asked them to raise £1.3m towards a new landmark Urology Centre. In 2013 they increased that figure to £2m.

Outgoing Colin Stokes MBE said: “Thanks to the incredible support, we exceeded that amount and are now equal funding partners with the hospital having raised almost £3m.”

Guildford Mayor Richard Billington with Colin Stokes

And commenting on fundraising by the Mayor of Guildford Richard Billington he added: “We were amazed at the diversity of Richard’s fundraising activity during the year and were bowled over by the sum raised, [£14,000 this month alone].

“This will make a big contribution to the Prostate Project activities. Giving men a better chance of beating prostate cancer remains essential. Even in the middle of a coronavirus outbreak, men will still need our continued efforts. This is so true of the whole of the Royal Surrey County Hospital, as well. They are in need of ongoing support and I am sure they are just as excited as we are at the input from Richard, his wife and all his team. Thank you so very much.”

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