Our Specialist Nurse services

Our Specialist Nurse service, offers free and confidential support and information to people who are affected by or concerned by prostate cancer or disease. These services are run entirely by specialist nurses who are clinical experts in this field.

I was really emotionally upset, and the nurse was so helpful and so reassuring. All of it has been useful but that one-to-one contact and being able to ask questions and talk about an individual case was incredibly useful.

  • In 2015-16 we received 11,648 contacts with our Specialist Nurses via the telephone, Live Chat and email services.
  • The main reasons for contacting our Specialist Nurse services in 2015-16 were treatment options, diagnostic investigations and side effects of treatment.
  • After using our service, the number of people reporting best health rose from 26% to 59% and people reporting feelings of worst health reducing from 4% to 1%.
  • 73% of service users said that as a result of the call, they knew more about their treatment options (if applicable).
  • 95% said the nurse clearly understood their needs and 92% said the nurse gave an explanation they understood.
Read the report


People from all aspects of society want to help us, help men with prostate cancer. Volunteers can assist us to increase our reach and deliver better services. To make sure our volunteers are able to have a positive experience and impact, we want them to be properly supported, receive high quality training, and be able to use their skills in the best possible ways.

It's a wonderful feeling for me to know that all my efforts at volunteering will make a difference to someone's life who is suffering with prostate cancer

 In 2014/15 volunteers gave us over 16,000 hours of time. They:

  • delivered 574 one-to-one support calls
  • reviewed 76 research grant proposals
  • delivered 244 awareness talks
  • took part in 24 campaigning activities
  • helped us at 51 sporting events
  • gave us 3,898 hours of office support
  • Volunteer Experience Survey  

    We carry out a biennial experience survey to understand more about our volunteers. We learned that:

    • 80% felt well supported by staff
    • The most rewarding aspects for volunteers were meeting people, speaking to the public about prostate cancer, raising awareness and fundraising
    • Volunteering can help them increase their understanding and knowledge about the disease, and feel as though they are contributing in making a difference to men’s lives

The Awareness Programme

The three year programme, funded by Deloitte and Scotmid, aims to raise awareness of prostate cancer through public-facing activities such as talks and stands.

By providing accessible information about the risks of prostate cancer, we can help men understand what the risks are of prostate cancer, what the signs and symptoms are and what to do if they are worried about prostate cancer. Men from high risk groups are a particularly important target group for this programme.

The talk taught me to be more aware of prostate cancer and encouraged me to go and see a GP

Based on an interim evaluation in 2015, in two years, around 250,000 people have been reached by the programme, exceeding its annual target in both years.

Preliminary evaluation evidence shows that participants improved their understanding of:

  • the signs of prostate cancer
  • those most at risk of prostate cancer
  • what to do if worried about prostate cancer

Public Awareness Study

We commission a study every two years to understand the general public’s perception and awareness of prostate cancer, risk factors as well as understanding how people access health information. The study is carried out online by a third party to a combination of people throughout the UK. The first study took place in 2014 and most recently in February 2016 with approximately 2000 people involved.

Our findings suggest that:

  • 15% of people are unaware that men have a prostate
  • Only 17% of people know that transgender women have a prostate
  • Only 41% of people can correctly locate the prostate on a diagram
  • 69% of people knew that being male increased your risk of prostate cancer
  • 51% knew that a family history of prostate cancer increased your risk
  • 36% knew that age was a risk factor
  • Only 5% knew that ethnicity was a factor

If you have any queries about this research, please contact the Impact and Quality team on impact@prostatecanceruk.org

  • Personal Risk Awareness  

    We also asked about at risks groups person risk and when comparing responses from the two studies, in the 2016 study

    • black men were more aware of their personal risk, rising from 8% to 14% who correctly identified as at higher than average risk
    • men aged 50+ were less aware, falling from 14% to 9% identifying as at higher risk
    • men with a family history of prostate cancer acknowledging their increased risk also fell from 48% to 33%.

Health and Social Care Professionals

The Health and Social Care Professionals programme, funded by the Movember Foundation and Royal Mail, is one of our most significant investments to date in improving services. We aim to fund professional roles in the NHS and other partners, to deliver better care for men in their local areas. The programme started in 2012 and is likely to be complete in 2016.

The project money from Prostate Cancer UK has allowed us to be brave and follow our instincts in pursuing quality follow up care for men who have been treated for prostate cancer; providing a service closer to home which is supported by direct access to specialist care

- Jane Booker, Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist, The Christie Foundation

At present, project reports suggest a total of 21,378 people have been supported across the HSCP programme. The evidence from ongoing evaluation is strongest in relation to the impact on patients’ experience of services and on their ability to self-manage. Nearly 5,000 men report a positive experience, and over 2,500 men report being able to manage their condition better as a result of services provided.


  • The impact  

    The programme also shows evidence of making an impact at a service delivery level by:

    • Generating savings or helping services to operate with greater efficiency
    • Increasing service accessibility
    • Improving understanding of ‘what works’ in service delivery
    • Improving the skills and knowledge of other healthcare professionals
    • Generating sustainable change

Educating Health Professionals

The Education Programme aims to improve the skills and knowledge of health professionals so they can provide better care to men with prostate cancer. It is partly funded by the Movember Foundation, whose support has enabled us to greatly expand our educational activities since 2012.

I enjoyed the course and was surprised by how much I didn't know about prostate cancer and its treatment. This course has really broadened my knowledge and will improve my ability to care for prostate patients

In 2015/16 6264 healthcare professionals accessed our training courses, modules and conferences. Ongoing evaluation of our training has shown that 97% of healthcare professionals say that the training has had at least some impact on their practise.

The specific impact the training has had on health professionals varies, but common themes include:

  • Improving clinical knowledge and awareness
  • Improving confidence and communication with men with prostate cancer
  • Improving the information given to men and their partners
  • Sharing knowledge with colleagues
  • Influencing the shape of services offered to men

Health Information

Our Health Information service produces and distributes printed resources about prostate cancer and disease which are available to order or download from our website. Audio and visual resources are also available for the benefit of men and their families. 

I really wish this quality and type of information had been around for me six years ago, it would have made things so much easier

In 2015/16 we distributed 485,339 pieces of literature to people affected by prostate cancer and to health professionals supporting men with prostate cancer. We also had 1,139,869 unique page views to our health information pages.

A survey in 2015 told us that our services have had a positive impact for:

Concerned men

  • 46% felt less anxious
  • 36% felt they knew more about prostate cancer than they did before

Diagnosed men

  • 73% understood the possible side effects of treatment
  • 72% had a better understanding of the treatments available to me

Partners and family

  • 69% knew where to seek more help or support if I need it
  • 65% felt they can better support their partner/family member

Further evaluation

  • Surgery support packs  

    The Surgery Support Packs (previously known as Post-Surgery Packs) aim to support all men undergoing surgery to treat prostate cancer, wherever they are based in the UK, by ensuring they are provided with complete, quality information, at the right time, to help them recover as quickly and as easily as possible.

  • Fatigue management  

    Get back on track is a telephone-based service delivered by our specialist nurses, helping men with prostate cancer to manage their fatigue.

  • One-to-one service  

    The One-to-one telephone service is provided by our trained volunteers, and offers anyone affected by prostate cancer or disease the opportunity to talk to someone who has been through a similar experience.

  • Community support services  

    Our seven community support hubs across the UK work in partnership with community based organisations, the local NHS and local prostate cancer support groups to shape and improve the support available to those affected by prostate cancer.