Call for action on prostate cancer

The leaders of the three main political parties have issued a joint call for greater action to tackle the problem of prostate cancer.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, Conservative leader Michael Howard and Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy have all recorded messages of support for the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action.

The recordings were made as part of the world’s first ever ‘Audio Day Motion’, which is calling for greater action to tackle prostate cancer – now the most common form of cancer in men, killing 10,000 men every year.

BBC presenter John Humphrys also recorded a message as part of the campaign.

The government has also launched a new public awareness campaign, in collaboration with members of the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action, to raise awareness of the disease.

The pilot scheme, which will take place in an NHS Primary Care Trust area, and is intended to raise awareness of the prostate and its function, educate people about the signs and symptoms of the disease and encourage men to speak more openly about it.

Announcing the campaign at the launch of the second Prostate Cancer Charter for Action at the House of Commons, Health Minister Rosie Winterton said that the government would provide £100,000 towards the programme, while members of the Prostate Cancer Charter would provide £50,000.

Commenting on the campaign, Sandy Tyndale-Biscoe, patient representative on the Prostate Cancer Advisory Group, said: “Improving public awareness of the prostate and its function is crucial if we are to win the war on this major killer. By improving awareness we can encourage men to seek help when they need it. This pilot will also be an important contribution to improving our knowledge about what works in raising awareness of health issues amongst men.

In 1999, for the first time, the incidence of prostate cancer exceeded that of lung cancer in men. In 2002, there were 26,811 newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer in England.


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