MEN are being urged to be more aware of the symptoms of prostate cancer.

Patients and staff from York Hospital's urology department have been leading a campaign to mark prostate cancer awareness month.

There is a one in eight chance of a man getting prostate cancer in his lifetime, with over 42,000 men diagnosed ever year in the UK.

Among those to man an awareness stand at York Hospital was Gerald Gilpin, 74, from Brayton, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago after he became aware of symptoms and went to his GP.

Following a biopsy and an ultrasound scan he was given hormone treatment and radiotherapy.

Gerald said: “Everything was explained really clearly to me by my consultant which was very reassuring. I did quite a lot of research myself online but it really helps when you get advice from professionals. People shouldn’t be afraid to go to their GP – never, ever ignore symptoms.”

Gerald is now a volunteer with the York and Selby Prostate Cancer Support Group. Another member of the support group, Ken George, from York, had no symptoms which meant it took longer for the condition to be diagnosed.

He said: “Age is a big factor for getting prostate cancer so anyone over 60 should get regular checks. There are so many good treatments and the treatment paths differ, some people don’t need anything other than being monitored.

“We have found that it really helps to talk to people in a similar position who understand, which is why we started the support group. It meets four times a year at York Hospital and is open to prostate cancer sufferers and their partners.”

Carolyn Bedford, Macmillan urology nurse specialist, said: “Symptoms can include rushing to the toilet to pass urine and doing it more frequently, having difficulty passing urine, feeling like you can’t empty your bladder properly, passing blood in your urine or new bone pain that doesn’t go away.

“These symptoms may not be related to prostate cancer, but your doctor can advise you further.”

To find out more about the support group, contact Gerald Gilpin on 07971 409667 or email