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Quality care. Everywhere.
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As you may know, March is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. I am writing to ask you to take action during this important month to help make high quality care a reality for all men with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. Every year 37,000 men are diagnosed and 250,000 men are now living with the disease. A recent survey of over 600 men with prostate cancer in the UK, carried out by The Prostate Cancer Charity, shows that men have different experiences of care across the country. For example, although many men were satisfied with the information they received when they were diagnosed, 1 in 4 said the information they received was ‘too little’. The survey found that these differences occurred at each stage of the prostate cancer journey. These differences are unacceptable – men everywhere deserve the same high quality prostate cancer care. Unfortunately, this variation is at risk of increasing. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has announced a delay to the development of a quality standard for prostate cancer until November 2013, despite the fact that the Government’s recent cancer strategy stated it would be developed in 2011. This means that it will be nearly two years before there are national standards for quality prostate cancer care. In the past, when guidelines on prostate cancer care have been delayed it has led to men with prostate cancer reporting a significantly worse experience of care than men with other common cancers. This delay, as well as recent decisions not to recommend new treatments for men with advanced prostate cancer, threaten to leave prostate cancer behind once again and force men into a postcode lottery in the quality of care they receive. I support The Prostate Cancer Charity’s “Quality care. Everywhere” project, which addresses these issues. Over the past few months, the Charity has been working with men affected by prostate cancer and their families, health professionals, politicians and others to develop draft standards that outline the quality care all men with prostate cancer need. To support this work, I would like you to: 1. Support the need for standards of quality prostate cancer care by emailing The Prostate Cancer Charity at firstname.lastname@example.org or ringing 0208 222 7651. The Charity will showcase your support on their website. 2. Help make sure The Prostate Cancer Charity’s standards include the views of as many people affected by prostate cancer as possible. You can do this by: • Publicising the draft standards on your website and Facebook or tweeting the link: www.prostate-cancer.org.uk/takeaction • Writing to local prostate cancer support groups and clinics about this project The Charity can provide you with draft text. If this would be helpful, please contact them using the details above. Thank you for reading this letter. I would be grateful if you could let me know which of the actions set out above you will be taking. I look forward to hearing from you.
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