Quest for cancer screening

Marion and Martin Smith. Marion is trying to get routine blood tests for men to pick up prostate cancer after her husband battled it.
Marion and Martin Smith. Marion is trying to get routine blood tests for men to pick up prostate cancer after her husband battled it.
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A WIFE who has seen her husband battle prostate cancer is calling for men to undergo regular checks for the disease.

Marion Smith, whose husband Martin was diagnosed with the disease last October, wants men to have blood tests every three years to pick up early signs of the disease, similar to the way women have regular mammograms or smear tests to pick up cancer.

She said: “Men are getting a bit of a raw deal here. As prostate cancer is only usually found if a man is seeking treatment for something completely different, I feel something more needs to be done to save lives.”

Martin’s cancer was only picked up when he had a scan for a slipped disc and he had to undergo intensive radiotherapy to treat it. He now has to wait until next month to see if it has worked.

Marion has written to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to see if something can be done and she is hoping people will support her cause.

At the moment, there is no national screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK because trials have not yet shown clear evidence that screening will reduce deaths from this disease or help people live longer. There is also no single, effective screening test to accurately diagnose most early prostate cancers in men who don’t have symptoms.

Marion was inspired to write to Mr Lansley after speaking with colleagues at Neale-Wade Community College, in March, where she works as a cover teaching supervisor.

Several male members of staff are taking part in Movember, where men grow moustaches throughout November to raise money and awareness of male health issues.