A gruelling two-week trekking challenge led by consultant urologists has raised over £400,000 to date for research and education into prostate disease. Launched in memory of businessman Richard Macaire, a prostate cancer patient and member of the team on previous fundraising challenges, the trek will pass through some of the most inhospitable mountain terrain in the world to raise money for the charity Prostate Action.
From 17th September to 5th October a group of medical professionals and patients including Professor Roger Kirby, Director of The Prostate Centre in London, Mr John Dick, urologist at Parkside and Kingston Hospitals and Mr Simon Carter, a consultant urologist in London, will trek through the Nepalese Mustang District before hiking up the Himalayan mountain range.
The trek has encouraged sizeable donations from a number of prostate cancer sufferers including an entrepreneur from Jersey who donated a quarter of a million pounds to the cause. All funds raised from the Himalayas trek will go to the charity as the participants are entirely self-funded.
Professor Roger Kirby said: “This is a very daunting task but I’m relishing the challenge – especially for a cause which is so close to my heart. Raising over £375,000 is very pleasing, but hopefully we can get closer to the half a million mark!”
Prostate Action believes that investment in research is fundamental to winning the fight against prostate disease; as such it aims to fund £1 million of new research every year. Equally, the charity invests its resources into better-educating GPs and nurses so they are aware of the latest innovations and thinking in prostate disease.
Emma Malcolm, Chief Executive of Prostate Action said: “The stark reality of modern research is that most advances, be it in our knowledge of prostate disease or in finding new treatments, take time. A research project that starts today may not bear fruit for many years, sometimes decades. But it is important that the necessary resources continue to be invested, and those that treat the disease are equipped with the latest thinking.
“We’re delighted that the Himalayas trek has garnered so much interest and encouraged such generous donations – the money really will make a difference to help us beat the disease.”
Prostate cancer treatment has considerably progressed in the last few years through innovation and research into tackling the disease. Developments such as abiraterone, a hormone-based therapy, as well as new chemotherapy and immunotherapy techniques, have proven to be effective in treating advanced prostate cancer. Similarly, new state-of-the-art technology such as the da Vinci Si HD robot – the most advanced robot ever to be used in prostate surgery – which allows for safer, quicker and more accurate operations continues to improve treatment capabilities.
Professor Roger Kirby added: “Having been involved in the development of national guidelines for prostate healthcare in the UK, I believe we offer some of the best capabilities for the management and care of prostate problems. However it is imperative that we continually improve our understanding and maintain what is already strong investment into cancer research.”
Prostate cancer is the most common form of male cancer. Around 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK, with men aged 50 – 70 deemed most at risk of prostate disease.