A SURVIVOR of prostate cancer has been manning an information stall at doctor’s surgeries around Tynedale to raise awareness of the disease.

Paul Nash, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer eight years ago, visited Burnbrae surgery in Hexham on February 26, and will travel to White Group in Ponteland, and Oaklands in Prudhoe on February 27 and February 28 respectively.

Since he got the all clear, Paul has been a dedicated supporter of Prostate Cancer UK, and has made efforts to raise awareness and raise funds for the charity.

Paul, who is a member of the North East Prostate Cancer UK Volunteer Hub, handed out leaflets to people as they left the practice.

It’s the third time the Ovingham man has visited GPs after he was diagnosed in 2010.

He said: “When I first did this a couple of years ago I did all of the GP surgeries in Tynedale, but I found with some of the far-flung ones I didn’t see many people.

“I went to Hexham because there’s two GP surgeries at the hospital, likewise with Ponteland. In Prudhoe, Oaklands isn’t just the GP it has the district nurse and everything.

“The walk in centre at Corbridge couldn’t let me do a stand there, but they will be stocking some of my leaflets.

“My message is slightly different now because there’s a lot of advances with diagnosis and treatment coming from Newcastle, at the Centre for Life and the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, which is part of Newcastle University, so I wanted to support that.”

Doctors caught Paul’s disease early and the cancer was successfully removed during surgery, and since then Paul has worked hard to do everything he can to raise awareness.

He is described himself as “one of the lucky ones”.

Paul believes a new diagnosis method could save more lives, with many men uncomfortable with the current diagnosis method of a digital rectal examination (DRE).

He continued: “A lot of men don’t like going and having a DRE.

“A lot of the work that’s being carried out is now into the diagnosis, because what they’ve identified is that the test isn’t very reliable, so they need something else.

“When you work out the number of people that could be seen compared to the number of doctors, there will be many doctors who won’t see anyone in a year, and only a few in their career.

“We need something that can be done independently of a doctor.”

As well as managing stalls, Paul – who is a keen golfer – has organised two regional tournaments in support of Prostate Cancer UK.

Paul organised the tournaments through the not-for-profit social enterprise he set up in 2017, Play2Support.

Originally from Stratford in London, Paul moved to the North-East when he attended Durham University and settled in the area when he took a teaching job in Bellingham. He has lived in Ovingham since 1971.

Prostate cancer kills one man an hour in the UK alone, with one in eight men affected across the country.

Prostate Cancer UK urges anyone who is concerned to make an appointment with their GP. Visit www.prostatecanceruk.org