Falkirk MSP signs pledge to fight prostate cancer

Michael Matheson
Michael Matheson

Prostate cancer patients have been promised that treatments will improve.

Local MSP Michael Matheson, who is Scotland’s public health minister, joined other politicians backing Prostate Cancer Charity Scotland to show support for sufferers of the condition.

Five pledges have been set out by the charity to raise awareness and help reduce inequalities.

Mr Matheson said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Scotland. Every year 2700 are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 19,000 are currently living with the disease. Two men die of prostate cancer every day.

“Despite this there is still considerable scope to improve the treatment, support and choices available to men who are diagnosed with this – as well as improving the public’s knowledge of some of the issues faced by those affected. That’s why I am delighted to sign this pledge and help The Prostate Cancer Charity fight for a world where lives are no longer limited by the disease.”

Ann Ferguson, head of the charity’s operations in Scotland, said: “It is fantastic Michael Matheson is showing his support for men and their families affected by prostate cancer.

“We hope many more politicians will follow suit and back the pledge to ensure prostate cancer remains firmly in the spotlight over the course of this parliament and that the improvements we are calling for make the transition from proposal to reality.”

A recent survey found that 85 per cent of those diagnosed had experienced symptoms for more than a month before contacting a health professional, with almost half (41 per cent) waiting more than a year before seeking medical advice.

Anyone concerned about prostate cancer can call the charity’s free and confidential helpline on 0800 074 8383. It is staffed by specialist nurses and open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays. Visit www.prostate-cancer.org.uk for more information.