Kay is our resident Health Editor.
Here she talks about how we make sure our information answers all the right questions.
We’ve recently won an award for our information for men with prostate problems. It’s called the Plain English Award and it’s given out to celebrate "those doing great work in the name of plain English".
High praise, considering they also like to name and shame those who’ve done a particularly bad job with the hilarious Golden Bull awards.
But what’s far more important to us is the feedback we get from those who’ve read our info to help them through a difficult time. We’ve been told it’s, “extremely well written and not preachy”, “concise yet informative” and “helpful in a truly frightening situation”.
Bruce, who is on hormone therapy told us, "What I was looking for was somewhere I could get real advice, where they would tell me as it is, and for me, Prostate Cancer UK was the place where I found that, both in literature and online."
And Roy, who was diagnosed in October 2000 told me, “I found each publication very helpful when I needed to refresh my understanding of treatments that were available for my specific diagnosis. I also found them reassuring and very easy to read and understand.”
We have a team dedicated to keeping everything up to date and well written. Every two years we take a fresh look at each booklet and factsheet. We start by going over all the new evidence and research to make sure it’s all included, then we ask a whole range of health professionals to have a look at the new draft – oncologists, surgeons, GPs, specialist nurses, dietitians and many more.
And most importantly, we ask men and their families who’ve actually been there. They let us know if we’ve missed anything, if we’re labouring the point or if things are tricky to understand.
People help us with the reviews for a number of reasons. I asked a couple of the men who’ve helped in the past why they liked to get involved.
Roy has helped with a number of our factsheets over the years. He told me, “I’m only too pleased to help in any way to ‘give something back’ to the system for mending me!
“I’ve always been passionate about correct grammar and spelling, as well as ensuring that what needs to be said is said in the most effective way, so that it communicates the right message.”
Trevor has been living with prostatitis for nearly 20 years, and helped us review our Prostatitis booklet. He said, "I was very pleased to be part of the team reviewing the Prostatitis booklet. Having a prostate problem is not much fun, but being able to use that experience to help others is some consolation and it’s particularly rewarding to see your own comments in print!
“I know that Prostate Cancer UK is keen to listen to anyone with a prostate condition and will certainly take their views into account when reviewing their publications."
The experience and opinion of those who’ve been there make sure we answer the questions that matter, in the most helpful way possible.
Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved in reviewing our booklets. Don’t worry – you don’t need to be into spelling and grammar. We can take care of that bit.