A TOTAL of 102 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in Limerick last year, new statistics have revealed.
The release of the figures which are contained in the National Cancer Registry Ireland comes during a week in which a new "Living with Prostate Cancer" information pack has been launched.
The free prostate cancer information pack provides easy to read, understandable, friendly and essential reading for sufferers, family and friends of those affected with prostate cancer which is the second most common cancer in men, after skin cancer.
From 2005 to 2009, a total of 514 men were diagnosed with the cancer in Limerick.
The well-known local businessman JP McManus was diagnosed with the serious condition in early 2009. He has spoken out of the importance of early detection and has encouraged men to get themselves checked.
"I was very, very lucky that it was detected at an early stage," said Mr McManus in an interview with the Limerick Leader this year.
"It's important for every man to get himself checked out."
Prostate cancer happens when cells in the prostate gland change and start to grow quickly. These cancer cells can affect how the prostate works normally, and after a long period of time they may spread to other organs of the body.
Prostate cancer generally occurs in older men. It is often a slow growing cancer and problems may not occur for many years. Small areas of cancer cells within the prostate gland are common, especially so in older men. Sometimes these cancer cells do not grow very quickly and they do not cause any problems or symptoms.
In other cases prostate cancer cells grow more quickly and can spread to other parts of the body.
Each year about 2500 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in Ireland. This means that 1 in 12 Irishmen will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
Although there are many men with this disease, most men do not die from it.
Mr McManus was never sick â€“ before, during or after the illness.
"It's an inconvenience. But if you're prepared to give up four or five weeks of your life and take it easy, it's no big ordeal," he said of his treatment.
For many men the initial diagnosis period can be difficult for not alone them but also their family as they attempt to source all the information they need in relation to their illness.
In response to this, Astellas Pharma Co Ltd have produced an information pack which covers a number of key information areas for the reader including facts and figures, symptoms and risks, methods of diagnosis and support channels.
"Clear and accessible information is hugely important for men undergoing prostate cancer treatment. I congratulate all involved for the work which has gone into producing this highly informative patient support pack," said Aine Brady, Minister for Older People and Health Promotion.
Jim Scott, chairman of Men Against Cancer (MAC) also welcomed the initiative.
"We welcome this initiative and are pleased to support Astellas in a campaign to provide prostate cancer sufferers with information that is provided to them rather than the patient or his family members having to seek and find.
"Information at the time of diagnosis is crucial; it can help to keep emotions calm during a difficult period.
This booklet will allow a sufferer or their family member to sit down at their own pace and review the road ahead," he said.
Astellas Pharma Co.Ltd are delighted to launch this free prostate cancer pack.
"We believe this is something which has been needed for both the patient and their family or friends. We hope this will allow the patient time to reflect on their diagnosis, the treatment, support and lifestyle changes ahead" said Denis Fennelly Marketing Director, Astellas Pharma Co Ltd.
The information pack is available by calling 01 6697684.