AS someone who is currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, I must respond to Jane Reader’s article. It paints a wrong picture and may deter men from seeking treatment until it is too late.

The figures she quotes are for all urological cancers of which prostate cancer is but one. Furthermore, the figures for Bournemouth Hospital are only part of the picture.

Not everyone diagnosed with prostate cancer will have treatment. Where it is localised and not aggressive, it may not affect life expectancy and the potential side effects of treatment outweigh any benefits and just needs regular monitoring.

If treatment is needed then there are three options. These are surgery, radio-active implants or radiotherapy. The latter two are carried out at the Dorset Cancer Centre based at Poole Hospital. Before you can have radio therapy you need injections and these are administered by your GP.

I am not sure how “beginning treatment” is defined but in the case of prostate cancer it is necessary to carry out a number of tests in order to decide the appropriate treatment and these take time.

In some cases there is no great urgency because prostate cancer is relatively slow growing. In my case my investigations were at the most slightly delayed. I am now having radiotherapy at around the time I would have expected regardless of Covid.

So my message to men is that diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer is still happening. There are a brilliant team of people involved particularly the specialist nurses at Bournemouth who are always on the end of the phone. Get yourself checked and don’t be put off by all that you read. Don’t leave it until it is too late.


Laidlaw Close, Poole