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Issue:- Sunday Night, 27 December 2015

Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 8.

Prostate cancer survivor takes matters into his own hands

A prostate cancer survivor who lives in Preston has launched a new website that helps cancer sufferers find out their options more easily.

CompareCancerTreatment.Co.UK was created by Lloyd Bantleman after his experience meant it took him 5 months to research and find a course of treatment that he was happy with for his prostate condition.

The website gives completely independent information and advice, allowing patients to make up their own minds about a whole range of cancers affecting both women and men.

Lloyd Bantleman said:- "My diagnosis for prostate cancer hit me hard, but what made it worse was finding that if I went ahead with what treatment was being offered here in the UK, I had a high chance of having to live with awful side effects afterwards and the recovery time was several months. I was determined to find an alternative, but this involved 5 months of searching the internet to look for a treatment that I felt confident would leave me with a good quality of life afterwards."

Lloyd told us that:- "I came across the Proton Therapy Center, as I'd heard on the news about Ashya King, the young boy whose parents took him over to Prague for treatment against doctors' advice. I contacted the Center, had a consultation with a specialist and really liked the sound of Proton Beam therapy. Within a few days I was admitted and started the treatment over a 3 week period. The best part is that I've had no side effects, just as the doctors at the center explained to me, the risks are very low. I was back at work the week after I returned home. When I returned I was determined to do something to make it easier for other patients to access the right information, particularly men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer. I created the website; CompareCancerTreatment.co.uk, which gives independent, impartial information on cancer treatments and signposts patients to relevant sources of more information. If I can help just 1 person to find the right treatment for their cancer and make their experience as a patient easier at a very anxious time, then I've done what I set out to do."

Lloyd is now calling for it to be made compulsory for men aged 50 to receive a free PSA test on the NHS, which is a simple blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. A raised PSA level is an early indicator of potential prostate problems. NHS statistics reveal that by having a PSA test early men are 27% less likely to die from prostate cancer.

Lloyd added:- "In the US and many other countries, men are urged to get a PSA check at 50 years old. Here in the UK, no one tells you to get tested and for many men who don't recognise the early symptoms, it can be too late."

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Over 42,000 men are diagnosed every year in the UK and there are around 10,500 deaths occur from it. 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime.

NHS/NICE recommends 2 options:- An inactive approach for men whose PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels are slightly above normal with blood tests once every 2 years or active treatment, where PSA levels are higher, patients could be offered Prostatectomy (full removal of the prostate) or Radiotherapy, often combined with hormten therapy. All these treatments carry risk; according to NICE's website including erectile dysfunction, urination, bowel problems and hot flushes (can be a direct result of hormten therapy).

For more information about cancer treatments recommended by the NHS, visit:- Nice.Org.UK.

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