LEYTON: Former cancer patient backs hormone therapy campaign
A FORMER cancer patient is backing a campaign calling for more information and support to be provided about the side effects of hormone therapy treatment.
Father-of-two Stewart Monk 61, of West End Avenue, was diagnosed with cancer five years ago and had his prostate removed.
But last year a small number of remaining cells were found to be cancerous and the disease re-emerged.
He was treated with hormone therapy, as well as radiotherapy, for six months at Whipps Cross Hospital and at Barts, in the City, and has now recovered.
But Mr Monk, an environmental health officer, suffered from a number of side effects.
He said: "I experienced terrible hot flushes, four or five times a day, which can be quite embarassing.
"I would go red and sweat, I was also very tired and had difficulty walking."
Mr Monk's wife Terri said: "It was extremely difficult to watch Stewart going through all the side effects. "It was a very emotional time as it was like watching a woman go through the menopause."
Mr Monk is a supporter of the Prostate Cancer Charity and was able to get some information about the side effects of hormone therapy, but he feels patients should be given more advice and support.
He said: "My main source of information on what to expect from hormone therapy and how to deal with it was the internet, but I feel it should have been from the health professionals.
“I felt there was a terrible lack of support and advice, I want to help prevent other men from going through what I went through.”
The Prostate Cancer Charity has launched a national campaign calling for all men receiving hormone therapy to receive written information about the side effects and for patients to receive regular assessments.
A report by the charity reveals that half of male patients receiving hormone therapy suffer depression, loss of confidence, hot flushes and cognitive problems while eight in 10 experience tiredness, fatigue and erectile dysfunction.
A Whipps Cross spokeswoman said: "Where prostate cancer treatment is provided, the patient will have sessions with the oncology consultant and clinical nurse specialist.
"Treatment is fully explained and patients and their relatives have the opportunity to ask any questions.
"An information leaflet explaining what Hormone Therapy is, how it works, what the drugs do and possible side effects is also provided, as well as a fact sheet detailing the therapy treatment."