Like most families, especially those in EastEnders, the Carters have had their ups and downs. But tonight they’ll need to pull together to deal with the tragic loss of father, grandfather and head of the family, Stan. And the tragedy is that this hard hitting TV storyline is happening for real all over the country.
Over the last few months, we’ve seen Stan tackling advanced prostate cancer with pain and complications after the cancer spread to his bones. Our Clinical Lead, Karen Sumpter has played an important role in advising the script writers. But as viewers bid farewell to Stan we hope his story will stay etched in their minds and help to stop more men like him from losing their lives in the future.
Our Chief Executive, Owen Sharp said: “Every hour in the UK a family like the Carters suffers the devastating loss of a loved one to prostate cancer. I am impressed by the EastEnders team, for their skill in portraying the delicate issues which surround such a terrible time. We want fewer men’s lives to end the way Stan’s did. That’s why we are calling on everyone to sign up to Men United to help reach a future where all men survive and live a better quality of life.
“EastEnders have shone a spotlight on the issue – creating conversations about prostate cancer on social media, in the press and on many sofas at home. Now, if we are to truly beat this disease once and for all, we need as many people as possible to take action. Action to raise funds for vital research, action to campaign for access to treatments, action to ensure men get to grips with their own risk. All men, like Stan, are worth fighting for. Only by facing up to this disease as a nation are we going to beat it.”
Timothy West CBE, who plays Stan Carter in the show has himself signed up to Men United. He said: “Stan was probably the archetypal bad patient. He was very slow in thinking about his condition and recognising what it might be. He was slow to seek diagnosis, slow to act on the diagnosis and reluctant to see doctors. He was terrible really, something we should all look at and not do the same.
“What Men United seeks to do, and it’s terribly important, is to hold out a hand to people to say, ‘come on, you will see people here with whom you can swap experiences, swap ideas, swap thoughts, swap feelings. You don’t have to stand there and wait for people to come, because they won’t. You just need a little push and you will like it when you get there.’ ”
If you’ve been affected by the issues faced by Stan and the Carters, you can speak to our Specialist Nurses on 0800 074 8383 or email them. You can also find out about different ways to get support here.
We've recently seen Stan Carter in EastEnders trying to deal with pain caused by his advanced prostate cancer and last night things came to a head as it was revealed the cancer has spread to his spine. If prostate cancer spreads to the bones, it weakens the bone and can cause pain. Here, our Specialist Nurse Lara Spiby answers your questions about managing bone pain.