Real Stories
27 Feb 2023

Worried about the NHS crisis? Your most common questions, answered

Our Specialist Nurses are taking more and more calls from men who are frustrated and worried about the delays they’re facing accessing test results and treatment. Here, Our Director of Support and Influencing, Chiara De Biase answers your most common questions.

How is the crisis affecting men's care?

The current situation in the NHS has been widely publicised, and we’re deeply aware of the impact this will be having on men with prostate cancer and their loved ones.

The numbers are sobering. The length of time people over 60 typically stay in an emergency department in England has risen from eight hours to 13 hours in just one year. 

Will my treatment be delayed?

A record number of people affected by cancer in England are waiting longer than ever for treatment. And we’re hearing how these delays are directly impacting the men we support. Recent figures show that in urology – where men with prostate cancer are treated – only six in 10 cancer patients are starting treatment within 62 days of being referred, the target set by the NHS.

If you’ve been affected by these delays and are awaiting treatment, it’s normal to feel very mixed emotions. We speak to men who feel anxious, angry, nervous, scared, upset, and depressed. You might find it helpful to read up on your treatment and what to expect.

Where can I get emotional support?

If you’re experiencing delays to prostate cancer diagnosis or care, we’re here for you.

  • Our Specialist Nurses are available 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday (10am on Weds). You can reach them on 0800 074 8383, or via email, webchat or WhatsApp. They won’t be able to speed anything up or speak to your healthcare team, but they’re there to listen and provide free, unbiased, confidential support and information.
  • Our webpage What can I do? covers a range of approaches for how you can look after yourself while you’re waiting.
  • The NHS and Mind also have some great tips on how you can manage anxiety, fear and panic.
  • If you’d rather speak to someone else affected by prostate cancer, you may find a local support group in your area can offer the support you need.

What is Prostate Cancer UK doing to help men, today and in the future?

We’re proud of the work we do to support the NHS to deliver the best possible care for men with prostate cancer.

Our Improvement Programmes train clinicians across the UK and support them to find new ways to reduce waiting times. In a hospital in Liverpool, we supported Clinical Champion Mr Vishwanath Hanchanale to deliver a project that saw more than 70% of men receiving a diagnosis within the 28-day target, up from only 10%. This meant men who needed a specialist biopsy were waiting only a week – down from the six months they’d previously waited for general anaesthetic biopsy. This life-changing improvement is only made possible thanks to people like you, supporting our work.

We also work with politicians and NHS leaders, offering advice and pushing for improvements. We’re part of a coalition of over 60 cancer charities called One Cancer Voice, who lobby the government on issues that impact all people living with cancer, such as the NHS workforce shortages.

You can join us and help get men the care they deserve.

  • You can join our recent campaign by signing the petition urging the Government for a clear strategy to improve cancer care.
  • We’re also asking supporters to email their MP as part of our national campaign to improve the experience of men suffering from incontinence as a side effect from prostate cancer treatment.
  • Sign up to campaign for Prostate Cancer UK. When we need your voice in the future, we'll let you know.


201910 Nurses Staff

Our Specialist Nurses

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