ALMOST 200 people have signed up for March for Men to help raise money for state-of-the-art prostate cancer diagnosis equipment.

Organisers of the event, taking place from Bournemouth Pier on March 22, are hoping it will help to buy £130,000-worth of equipment which will reduce waiting times for patients at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Mr Andrew Wedderburn, consultant urologist, said: “It’s an expensive piece of equipment, but one that could benefit up to 400 patients each year as well as reducing the wait times by up to three months. “Everyone ‘Marching for Men’ in a few weeks will be making a real difference to men’s health and we’re hoping that a lot of money will be raised.”

The new prostate template biopsy equipment will improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosing prostate cancer and reduce infection rates.

It will also benefit some men who have prostate cancer but are being monitored, by giving them the reassurance that monitoring their condition is the correct pathway of care.

Biopsies are currently taken from just the back of the prostate and are performed in Dorchester, meaning patients have to travel. Bournemouth Hospital Charity events officer, Barry Wilson, said: “This is only the second year that March for Men has taken place. We had fantastic support last year with 360 people taking part, but we’d love to increase that this year and help to buy this fantastic piece of equipment.”

The event begins at 9.30am from Bournemouth Pier and participants can walk, run or march 1km, 5km, or 10km.

If you would like to take part, log on to uk, call 01202 704060, email or visit the Bournemouth Hospital Charity office in the main atrium at RBH.