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Raigmore Hospital launches packs to ease side effects of prostate cancer treatment


By Neil MacPhail

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Men starting treatment for prostate cancer at Raigmore Hospital can now benefit from a free pack containing items aimed at easing some of the treatment side effects.

PROSPACKS have been developed by Prostate Scotland with funding from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and Raigmore Hospital is one of the first Scottish hospitals to join the project.

The packs were launched at Maggies Highland centre beside Raigmore Hospital last Wednesday with senior members of Prostate Scotland and the Grand Lodge present.

They included Ramsay McGhee, The Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, who before retirement from the former Northern Constabulary, was a senior officer based in Inverness.

The pack’s contents include moisturising lotion, sensitive soap, continence pads, mouthwash, ginger tea, thermal socks, a water bottle, anti-bacterial gel and eye masks.

The Grand Lodge has made a five-year commitment to fund the PROSPACKS project and Prostate Scotland hopes more hospitals across Scotland will join the scheme.

Mr McGhee said The Grand Lodge has a proud background of supporting Prostate Scotland, and last year after a 10 year fundraising campaign, Scottish lodges at home and abroad hit their Make it a Million fundraising target.

He said: "We actually handed just over £1,125,000 last November which was a tremendous achievement. It is the men in the lodges who were the real heroes with their very inventive fundraising ideas.

"They included Raymond MacKeddie provincial Grand Master of Lodge Fingal in Dingwall who planned a sponsored cycle round all the lodges in his area. When it was pointed he might have some difficulty cycling across the Minch to the Western Isles, the miles were made up on a rowing machine set up at Tesco in Dingwall and £13,000 was raised from that effort."

Mr McGhee added: “We also help bring about awareness, as well as give support for men living with the disease and their families.

“We know from feedback from many of our members who have gone through or are going through treatment that these packs will make a difference at this important time.

"I would like to thank our members across Scotland and abroad who helped raise the funds for this project – including the Masons 4 Munros initiative which involved a sponsored scaling of 16 Munro mountains.”

Mr MacKeddie said: "There is a Prostate Champion scheme and we have three champions in Ross and Cromarty - in Kyle, Tain and myself in Dingwall. We go out into the community to places such as football clubs, the Mens Shed and community groups to spread the word that early detection is vital.

"Women too are vital in getting their partners or friends to have a prostate check, and at a recent fundraiser in Dingwall it was women who were picking up the most information leaflets."

Prostate Scotland director Adam Gaines said: “Going through prostate cancer treatment can be challenging, emotionally, mentally and physically.

“From our research in the development of the packs, we heard about the needs of men as they begin treatment or go into hospital, as well as the potential side effects and impacts.

“We are incredibly grateful to the generous donation made by the Grand Lodge of Scotland which has enabled this project to happen.”

Prostate Scotland offers a comprehensive range of support services to help men across Scotland navigate prostate cancer and disease.

These services complement the care received from medical experts and include a free course on how to live well with prostate cancer and one-to one support sessions which are run in partnership with Maggie’s and Cancer Support Scotland.

Pamela Wright, Cancer Support Specialist, Maggie’s Highland, said: “Every day we hear from men with prostate cancer and we listen to how they’re feeling, answering any questions they have and help them find the support they need.

“I’m sure the packs will be a great support to men when it’s most needed, and they’re looking for help to alleviate their symptoms as part of the various side effects of treatment.”

The charity has also worked closely with prostate cancer patients and their families, clinicians, and experts in prostate cancer to develop and test the Prostate Scotland Cancer Navigator App which is free and available on the App Store and Google Play.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancers affecting men in Scotland. Nearly 1 in 2 men in Scotland will be affected by prostate disease at some stage of their lives and 1 in 10 are likely to develop prostate cancer.

Survival rates amongst men with prostate cancer have encouragingly doubled over the past two decades with 84%


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