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Rapid 30-second check could spare thousands of men from worrying about their prostate recovery 

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Rapid 30-second check during prostate cancer treatment could spare thousands of men from worrying about their recovery

  • 30 second health questionnaire could spare men worry after prostate treatment
  • Check from The Men Like Me consists of five questions about diagnosis & health 
  • Hopes it will help reassure those with minor problems in early recovery process 

Hundreds of thousands of men could be spared unnecessary worry after prostate cancer treatment thanks to a 30-second health questionnaire.

The Men Like Me health check consists of five questions about a man’s treatment, diagnosis and general health.

Using data from a landmark study on the disease in 2019, the questionnaire shares how common various side-effects are and advice about treatments.

Professor Caroline Moore, head of urology at University College London, said: ‘It will help reassure those men with minor problems early in the recovery process that things will improve and help those with more troublesome problems find appropriate support.’

More than half of men are left without help for incontinence, impotence and other common and distressing side-effects, the 2019 study revealed.

The Men Like Me health check consists of five questions about a man’s treatment, diagnosis and general health. Picture: Stock

The Men Like Me health check consists of five questions about a man’s treatment, diagnosis and general health. Picture: Stock

While some are never offered support, others are too ashamed or embarrassed to confide in their GP.

The Daily Mail is campaigning for greater awareness, treatment and diagnosis of prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer among British men, with 48,500 cases a year.

Paul Villanti (CORR), of the Movember Foundation, said: ‘It’s really important that men don’t suffer in silence after cancer treatment and get the support they need.’

More than 400,000 men in the UK have either survived the disease or are still being treated.

The Men Like Me health check uses data from the 2019 study – the largest ever of men living with the disease – to show him how common various side-effects are among others in similar circumstances.

Men are also told how big an impact the side-effects are having on others’ lives and provided with advice about possible treatments.

More than half of men are left without help for incontinence, impotence and other common and distressing side-effects, the 2019 study revealed. Picture: Stock

More than half of men are left without help for incontinence, impotence and other common and distressing side-effects, the 2019 study revealed. Picture: Stock

The questions cover the man’s diagnosis, including how advanced his cancer was when it was spotted, the type of treatment he had, his age and whether he has any long-term health conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes.

After answering them, a man will be told what proportion of patients who are similar to him suffer side-effects such as incontinence and impotence and how big a problem it is for them.

Advice on incontinence ranges from exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles to dietary changes, while those with impotence are talked through the pros and cons of various treatments.

Reassurance for those left impotent after being treated for prostate cancer includes: ‘It’s important to give yourself time to recover your sexual function.

‘How persistent you are in working towards satisfaction in your sex life will determine how successful you are. It may take time and effort, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.’

It is hoped the information will provide some men with peace of mind – and give others the impetus to see their GP.

Karol Sikora, one of Britain’s top cancer specialists and former head of cancer at the World Health Organisation, described the health check as an ‘excellent’ idea.

He said the anonymity of an online questionnaire would appeal to men who are, by nature, reticent to talk about their health problems.

Professor Sikora said: ‘Men are different from women in that they don’t like talking about their symptoms. They bottle it up and keep it to themselves, so anything like this could be useful.’ 

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9285111/Rapid-30-second-check-spare-thousands-men-worrying-prostate-recovery.html

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