Lichfield’s MP has revealed he has received treatment for the early signs of prostate cancer.
Michael Fabricant – who was also diagnosed with skin cancer last year – told fellow MPs about the diagnosis at Prime Minister’s Questions today (October 12).
He revealed how a ‘well-man’ check in Lichfield 18 months ago had highlighted the issue.
“It is just as well that I did go for the check-up,” he said. “The blood test revealed a problem with my prostate, despite the fact that I was symptom-free.
“I was immediately referred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, whose staff were simply wonderful. After a period of surveillance I had a prostatectomy back in June – but I’m now fine.”
Mr Fabricant’s comments came as he sought assurances over work being done to cover a potential shortfall in the number of specialist prostate and urology nurses.
Speaking after the debate he said he was keen to use his own experiences to highlight the issue.
“I chose to raise this matter at Prime Minister’s questions because early diagnosis is vital and I hope by highlighting this issue, it may have saved a few lives,” he said.
“Because it was caught quick, I have not needed any drugs nor chemotherapy nor have I needed any radiation, thank goodness. The changes in my prostate were at an early stage and following a prostatectomy back in June, I am now in the clear.”
The Conservative MP’s decision to highlight his own condition was welcomed by the chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK.
Angela Culhane said: “We commend Mr Fabricant for his courage in speaking out about his personal experience of prostate cancer.
“We need men like Michael to speak openly about their experiences in order to raise awareness and alert others across the country to the risks of the disease. We hope it will help ensure issues facing men affected by the disease are pushed further up the political agenda.
“We also echo Mr Fabricant’s calls for UK governments to act quickly to ensure that the right level of workforce is provided for men with prostate cancer, and urge the Prime Minister to follow through on her pledge to look at how to improve the situation.
“There is strong evidence which demonstrates that the allocation of a dedicated urology key worker has a positive impact on experience and outcomes for men with prostate cancer, yet the numbers of cancer specialist nurse posts are not are not enough to ensure good access for all men with prostate cancer.
“The current provision is insufficient, caseloads are high and access across the UK varies dramatically. Men with prostate cancer need action on this now.”