Our nurses are here to answer questions on anything which might be worrying you about a prostate problem. In a recent survey, 94% of callers understood the subjects explained by the nurse very well.
Common subjects we speak to people about include
• Your risk of prostate cancer
• Potential signs and symptoms
• The PSA Test
• What to ask at a doctor’s appointment
• Treatment options
• Side effects
• Where to get more information
• Emotional support
• Diet and exercise
• Background behind stories you’ve seen in the news
(a recent example would be the news that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has not approved the use of abiraterone prior to having chemotherapy on the NHS)
• Specialist knowledge
Our Specialist Nurses have worked in a hospital setting and have specialist knowledge in prostate disease. The information and support they provide is unbiased and based on up-to-date evidence.
Want to make a quick call at lunch? Have lots of questions to ask? Whether it’s 5 minutes or 45, there’s no time limit. We give you the time you need.
If you don’t want to say who you are or feel too embarrassed to talk about something then don’t worry. Speaking to us over the phone, email or live chat may be easier for you than speaking to someone face to face. Sometimes it helps to talk or say it loud so get in touch and see how we can help.
• There’s no such thing as a silly question
Whatever your question, whatever your concern, please just ask us.
• We can help you understand what might happen next
Whether it’s helping you get questions together for your next GP or hospital appointment, or being able to make sense of your situation and decisions you have to make, we can help you. We can also direct you to any further information or organisation which could make a difference in how you feel.
Here’s a list of common concerns we regularly receive over the phone, by email and live chat. This section will tell you how we can help answer your question and give you the support you need.
Please be aware that our nurses are unable to diagnose a medical condition and any information provided should not replace any medical advice given by your doctor.
I’ve heard about the PSA test, should I have one?
Choosing to have a PSA test is entirely up to you but we can discuss the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. We’ll also help you understand your risk of prostate cancer.
Can you explain what ____ means?
Through our specialist knowledge we can explain what the medical terms you may have heard mean in a plain and simple way.
I’ve been told to go away and think about which treatment I would like and I don’t know where to start?
It’s common for men to get a diagnosis of prostate cancer and feel overwhelmed. We can help you get through this difficult time and explain each option available to you and the pros and cons of those treatments, so you can make a choice right for you.
What is ‘the best’ treatment?
Depending on your situation there may not be an overall ‘best treatment’ and treatment options may be equally effective. However, everybody has different needs and different lives so we’ll help you understand what matters to you so that you can make a treatment decision that is most suited to you.
I’ve been told it’s not curable, but what can I expect?
If you or a loved one is living with advanced prostate cancer, there may be many questions, fears and uncertainties. We can offer time to talk to you or those close to you, about any of your concerns as well as providing sensitive support and practical information about side effects of treatment or symptoms of your cancer.
I’ve heard about a new drug. Would it be suitable or how can I get it?
We keep up to date with new research and developments in treatment for prostate cancer and prostate disease. We are able to explore what may or may not be available or suitable for your situation and guide you in questions to ask your doctor.
My appointment was so rushed…
Unfortunately many health professionals are incredibly busy which means appointment times can be over before you’ve had the chance to ask more questions or clarify something they’ve said. We consider ourselves to be complementary support to these appointments. So whether you need answers now or need help in knowing what to ask at your next appointment, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you get through it.
I’m a bit embarrassed to talk to my doctor but…
Because we’re not answering your questions face-to-face it may be easier to talk about something embarrassing over the phone or online, so give us a quick call or start a live chat. The important thing is you say what you need to say, so get in touch if we can help.
What should I ask at my next appointment?
There’s probably hundreds of things you want to ask and feel like there’s never enough time. We can help you prioritise the ‘need-to-ask questions’ so you leave your appointment with the information you need.
I think I’ve got problems peeing…
We can talk you through what’s currently happening so you can make sense of any issue you’re having. We’ll also suggest going to speak to your GP if we think something needs to be looked at more closely.
I’ve been told I have an enlarged prostate...
We can discuss what every prostate problem means to you and how that can impact on your life.
What is my risk of prostate cancer?
We can talk to you about your individual situation and risk factors. If your father or brother is diagnosed with prostate cancer, this will affect your risk. We can help you to make sense of this, other risk factors and help you make decisions about what to do next.
I’m struggling with side effects of treatment, is there anything I can do?
We can talk about how you are feeling and may be able to provide practical tips, help and support in coping with side-effects. We can also guide you in the important questions to ask your doctor if further help or support is needed.
We can point you to ordering our booklets and fact sheets which will tell you all you need to know about the issues that are affecting you. We can also tell you about the other services that we have available such as relationship support, one-to-one support, fatigue support and how to find local support.
I feel overwhelmed…
Dealing with prostate cancer can be overwhelming and it may be useful just to get things out and have someone there who’ll just listen or help to make sense of your situation. We’re here to be that someone.
I feel lost/isolated/scared/low
A new diagnosis of cancer or living with uncertainty can be scary, whether its you or someone you care for, we are here to offer our support. We can also guide you in finding further support or help.
I’m struggling to support my husband/dad/brother/son
Supporting someone with cancer can be hard. It’s ok to be frustrated or unsure at times. It might help to talk through some of these issues and understand what’s affecting you the most. We can also talk to you about how partner organisations like Relate and Relationship Scotland, can give you specialist support if it’s affecting your family life.
I’ve read in the newspaper that _____ increases the risk of prostate cancer/prevents prostate cancer? Is that true?
We get hundreds of calls asking about the latest research breakthroughs or headline news that pops up in newspapers or on the Internet. We’re always up to date with those stories so speak to us, tell us what you’ve seen and where you’ve seen it and we’ll do our best to clarify some of those myths!
Call our confidential telephone service on 0800 074 8383. Textphone users can use text relay to access our Specialist Nurses by calling 18001 0800 074 8383 so that a text relay operator can help us give you the support and information you need.
Our normal opening hours are:
Monday - Friday 9-6pm, Wednesday 10-8pm
We appreciate that sometimes people find it easier to contact us by email rather than talk to one of the nurses directly. By using our contact form, you can send your question to the Specialist Nurses.
We appreciate it can be difficult to talk about sensitive issues over the telephone and it is sometimes hard to find the time to have a telephone conversation or you might want a quick response to a question? We have an online messager service where you can chat to a Specialist Nurse.
Our chat times are 10-1pm 1-4 pm Mon to Friday and 4-8 pm on Wednesday.
If it’s not convenient to call us at a certain time or it’s out of hours and you want someone to call you back, then you can use our SMS service.
Text the word NURSE to 70004, and you will receive an automated message thanking you for getting in touch.
Our Specialist Nurses will then contact you when we are open (9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm Weds).
Messages received after 5pm and after 7pm on a Wednesday will be called back the following day. Your text will be stored confidentially and will only contain the contact number of the caller.
Please send your queries to the following address:
Prostate Cancer UK Specialist Nurse Team
The Counting House
53 Tooley Street
We aim to respond to letters and emails within five working days. However, if your query is urgent or you have lots of questions, you will receive a much quicker response by calling our Specialist Nurses.
Please note we are unable to respond to queries from outside the UK, as there are differences in healthcare service provision in other countries.
We regularly review the service we offer and strive to improve and develop it whenever we can. An essential part of this review involves finding out about the experiences of people using our Specialist Nurse service. In our most recent survey (2014):
• 88% found the information from the nurse very useful
• 93% felt the nurse addressed their concerns very well
• 94% understood the topics explained by the nurse very well
• And 99% would recommend the service onto others.
We are a member of The Helplines Partnership and our service has been accredited to The Helplines Standard. This means that through independent assessment, we have demonstrated that we are committed to quality and offer a professional service.
The telephone, email, live chat, text and postal enquiry services are confidential between you and Prostate Cancer UK. If you contact the Specialist Nurses, you may choose to provide personal information which will only be used for the purposes of dealing with your enquiry.
Sometimes, a Specialist Nurse may have a colleague listening in to a call for training purposes; this would be explained to you at the start of a call, and if you would prefer the other nurse not to listen, then please tell us and the nurse will remove her headset.
Any personal information provided will not be passed onto anyone else without your express permission except in exceptional circumstance to comply with the nurses' code of professional conduct or the law. Examples of this might include children contacting the service reporting abuse, anyone reporting serious self harm, anyone expressing the intention of harming someone else, or if a terrorist threat is reported.
Your personal information and details of the enquiries received are stored on a secure database. If for any reason you wish to have your personal details removed from our records, please contact the Specialist Nurses.
Calls are recorded and monitored for training purposes. This is an important part of maintaining quality of our Specialist Nurse service. All calls are kept confidential to Prostate Cancer UK and are destroyed securely after use.