Help us raise £2 million this Christmas for men like David, who struggled with being apart from his family during lockdown after his cancer had returned.

3 Nov 2020

In a year that’s been challenging for so many of us in terms of relationships, work, finances and health - we also revealed the total number of deaths from prostate cancer passed 12,000 for the first time in a single year. That’s 12,000 partners, dads, brothers, sons and friends who won’t be here this Christmas.

We need your help to give thousands of men the life-saving cures they so desperately need. Men like David Hadley-Smith, who struggled with being apart from his family during lockdown after his cancer had returned.

If a man’s prostate cancer is caught early while it is still localised and contained within the prostate, it’s still possible to cure. But a cure isn’t guaranteed. We have limited treatment options available for men, and not enough understanding of how each man will respond.

For those with aggressive or more advanced forms of the disease, some experts predict as many as 1 in 2 men will see their disease return. This must change. Men deserve so much more.

To make this change, we’re working in partnership with Movember to invest £2 million into pioneering research to give men the cures they deserve. We aim to fund large-scale projects and clinical trials to drive a transformation in treatments, to ultimately save lives. No other charity has a strategic focus on funding research that is dedicated to curing men with localised cancer.

David Hadley-Smith was devastated to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer at just 55. He thought surgery to remove his prostate would allow him to move on with his life, but just before Christmas in 2018, he was given the news his cancer had returned. He would have to endure more treatment. And this time, his chance of a cure was even slimmer.

It hit me even harder than the first time. I hadn’t considered cancer coming back, I thought I’d beaten it.

- David Hadley-Smith.

 

David has two sons and two grandsons who he knows are at higher risk of prostate cancer. So, he wants to help fund research towards better treatments so they don’t have to worry about the disease. He’s also a keen golfer, and following his initial diagnosis, told his story at his Golf club which led to 11 more men being diagnosed. “I don’t want anyone to go through what I have.” said David, “Like my two sons, who I know are at higher risk of getting the disease. Or god forbid, one of my grandchildren.”

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David’s love for his son’s and grandkids is a great source of strength, so not being able to see them during lockdown was a real struggle. He says, “during the lockdown, it was just horrendous. I’d gone from seeing my family and cuddling my little grandson all the time to having no contact at all. I felt like I’d lost my way to cope with my prostate cancer.”

We need your help to reach our £2 million target to fund pioneering research that will accelerate progress for men like David.

Professor Ananya Choudhury’s research aims to understand how much radiotherapy each man needs to ensure his prostate cancer doesn’t return.

“In this exciting final year of our project, we plan to develop and validate our test to help improve radiotherapy treatment for men with prostate cancer. Without the support of Prostate Cancer UK supporters, I couldn’t offer hope to the patient sitting in my clinic.”

Professor Hash Ahmed is also working on improving treatments for men with localised intermediate-risk disease. He thinks focal therapy might be an alternative to treating the entire gland. It involves just treating the cancerous area of the prostate, and reduces the likelihood of other tissues being damaged.

“If we can confirm focal therapy is an effective treatment for cancer that also minimises side-effects, the potential impact to men will be immense. Supporters who fund research are more than important, they’re vital. Without them, we’d never be able to answer these game-changing questions”.

“I hope with every fibre my body that research helps us find a cure.” says David. “We seem so close. It would be amazing if we could do it before my grandsons ever have to worry about prostate cancer.”

A small gift this Christmas could make a huge difference for men like David and generations to follow. Help us improve treatments so men can spend more time with the people who love them.

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