Public urged to get educated on prostate cancer

Looking forward to the free public information evening on prostate cancer at the South Court Hotel were Patricia Finnegan, Staff Nurse, Mid-Western Radiation Oncology Centre; Sheila Kiely, candidate Advanced Nurse Practitioner, UHL; Triona Neenan, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Oncology, UHL and Cathleen Osborne, CNM3 Cancer Services, UHL.

MEMBERS of the public are being urged to get educated on prostate cancer in a bid to recognise early signs and symptoms to allow for early detection.

With this in mind, a free public information evening on prostate cancer will take place on Tuesday next, April 9, at the South Court Hotel in Raheen, Limerick.

Staff from UL Hospitals Group and the Mid-Western Radiation Oncology Centre will discuss prostate cancer and potential treatment options.

Approximately 300 men currently attend for ongoing care for prostate cancer in the UL Hospitals Group, which includes hospital’s serving Clare – Ennis General Hospital and University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

“Men said they often did not feel informed about signs and symptoms; about paths into the service and about the treatment choices,” explained Triona Neenan, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Oncology, University Hospital Limerick.

“This is in spite of Blue November and other men’s health campaigns that have done great work in recent years.

“So we hope people will come to our night next week, which is for anybody looking for information on prostate cancer.

“We will explain the services, how to access them, the treatment options.

“Taboos will be explained and the medical jargon clarified so people will feel a lot better if they have to come in to us or if they are generally curious about prostate cancer,” Ms Neenan added.

The upcoming UL Hospitals Group event aims to inform and educating members of the public on prostate cancer and to helping them recognise the early signs and symptoms to allow for early detection.

The National Cancer Strategy recognises the importance of public engagement.

Feedback from men from the Mid-West who have undergone at least one line of treatment for prostate cancer has shown that patients would like to be better informed.

This finding emerged through the Limerick sessions of the national Prostate Cancer Psychosocial Education Programme, developed by the Irish Cancer Society for prostate cancer survivors.

Sheila Kiely, candidate Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Prostate Services, University Hospital Limerick, said that more and more treatment choices have become available in recent years for prostate cancer.

“We hope that by attending on the evening, people will be better able to make the choice that suits them should they ever be faced with that choice,” she said.

“We are trying to support the information needs of men and their loved ones in that decision-making process, whether is it chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery or hormone therapy.

“And the good news for patients is the choice of therapies is increasing all the time and that the prognosis is good.

“Prostate cancer, if you are picked up at an early stage of diagnosis, has a survival rate of 80 per cent to 90 per cent after five years and is now considered like a chronic disease,” added Ms Kiely.

Speakers on the evening are to include Dr Nemeer Osman, Consultant Medical Oncologist, University Hospital Limerick, Dr Mazen El Bassiouni, Consultant Radiation Oncologist, Mid-Western Radiation Oncology Centre and Dr Jody Khan, Specialist Registrar in Urology, UL Hospitals Group.

According to UL Hospitals Group, members of the public who attend the information evening will leave with a better understanding of what to expect in the prostate cancer journey.

Patients, along with friends and family, are welcome to attend.

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