Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Prostate cancer patients should take their time to consider treatment options

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This was one of the messages given by Mr Andrew Wedderburn, Consultant Urologist at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, at a talk organised by the Friends of Ringwood Medical Centre this week.

Mr Wedderburn gave a carefully illustrated and sometimes humourous overview of prostate cancer.  He explained the risk factors, how the cancer is detected,  the pros and cons of screening, the current treatment options at various stages and what the future may hold.  In Dorset robotic surgery is already on the cards.

For those men living with prostate cancer it’s important, he said, to continue to enjoy life and not give up the things that one enjoys such as favourite foods because of the latest media coverage.  In addition, in most cases, men can take time, perhaps months, after diagnosis to thoroughly weigh up all their treatment options.  Should surgery be an option then general fitness and other health conditions rather than age would be the main consideration taken into account.

Dorset Cancer Advocacy coordinator Kathleen Gillett asked how patients might prepare themselves to get the most out of an appointment with their consultant. Mr Wedderburn recommended writing down questions the patient would like to ask in advance.  It’s also helpful to attend the appointment with a relative or friend who can listen and perhaps take notes so that one doesn’t come out thinking ‘I can’t remember what he said!’  Some patients like to record their consulation on a mobile device which is handy as long as it is with permission.  If the appointment is about getting results of a scan it could be useful to try to prepare oneself as far as possible for the different outcomes.

The support that a volunteer advocate from Dorset Cancer Advocacy could give in these situations was described to listeners by Kathleen after the talk.

Andrew Wedderburn, Anne Wilson, Patricia Farwell

Andrew Wedderburn, Anne Wilson, Patricia Farwell

Mr Andrew Wedderburn is pictured with Dr Anne Wilson of Ringwood Medical Centre and Mrs Patricia Farwell, chairperson, Friends of Ringwood Medical Centre.

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