Symposium on prostate cancer research in the South West at UWE

Monday, 2 February 2009

Are you about to have a PSA test and are you anxious about the process and outcome or have you recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer? Do you care for someone or are you a health practitioner working with prostate cancer patients? Do you want to find out more about prostate cancer research happening locally?
A special event, Prostate Cancer in the South West, that aims to clarify and update patients, carers, health professionals and researchers on new and existing methods for the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with prostate cancer is taking place at the University of the West of England on Saturday 28 March from 9.30am – 1.30pm.
Prostate cancer in the South West is a collaboration between researchers at UWE and the Bristol Urological Unit, North Bristol NHS Trust and Bristol Rotary. The symposium is the key event in the region to be held during the first ever Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, following hot on the heels of the launch of the Run for the Future on Thursday, March 19.
Talks from leading experts will explore issues such as screening, research, treatment, support and care. Presenters include Mr David Gillatt (Consultant Surgeon and Medical Director of Bristol Urological Institute, Southmead Hospital), Dr Jon Oxley (Consultant Pathologist, Southmead Hospital), Professor Norman Ratcliffe and Dr Anthony Rhodes (Centre for Research in Biomedicine, UWE), Georgia Diebel (The Prostate Cancer Charity, London) and Neal Southwick (Macmillan Cancer Support).
Dr Anthony Rhodes from UWE explains:
“Despite the fact that around 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year with around a third of these dying from the disease there is not enough noise made to ensure that men are adequately informed about the symptoms and the importance of screening. To put this into context 44,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year with over 12,000 deaths annually making prostate cancer the second most prevalent form of the disease.
“There is important work happening here in Bristol in awareness raising campaigns and research. This event aims to clarify the many aspects surrounding diagnosis and treatment and to highlight the facilities and support available to people with prostate cancer. We also want to tell people about local research currently under way to help improve the lives of men who are diagnosed.
“We have been working closely with the BUI and Rotary over the past few years on a dual mission to both raise funds to increase awareness and to conduct research into better testing methods. For example, sponsorship money from the Run for the Future event organised by Bristol Rotary has been invested in two research projects based at UWE and the BUI to look at better and more accurate diagnostic tests. We want to share what we are doing with the general public to engage more people."
David Gillatt commented: “Prostate cancer affects almost as many men as breast cancer affects women. And yet prostate cancer is not highlighted to anything like the same degree. We hope to go some way towards redressing the balance so that more work is done to help save lives through better awareness and more funding raised for focused research leading ultimately, we hope, to a national screening programme.”
Steve West, UWE Vice Chancellor, said: “This event presents a much needed opportunity for those seeking support and information to glean more. The partnership between UWE, BUI and Rotary is exemplary in the way it is striving to redress the balance in prostate cancer health promotion and in the cutting edge research that will contribute greatly toward fighting this killer disease.”
Tickets for the event are £5 (inclusive of tea, coffee and refreshments) and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis so do book soon to avoid disappointment.

To take part in the Run for the Future go to