The prostate is a small gland found in a man's pelvis. According to Prostate Cancer UK, one in eight men are diagnosed with this disease at some point in their lives, and it ranks as the third biggest cancer killer in the country. The risk increases with age, and men over the age of 50 are most susceptible to the disease, with the average age of diagnosis coming between 65 and 69.
Why Volunteer With A Prostate Cancer Charity?
As prostate cancer is so common, charities involved in helping people who are diagnosed with it need all the support they can get. Around 84% of people who are diagnosed with prostate cancer live for 10 or more years, so that's a lot of people who need support.
With so many people affected by this disease, you can make a real difference when you volunteer with a prostate cancer charity. Being generous with your time can be hugely rewarding, and you can also learn new skills which could help you in day-to-day life.
How To Help Prostate Cancer Charities
GET YOUR GEAR FROM A CHARITY SHOP
Whether you're getting involved in a challenge to raise funds, such as a sponsored run, or you just need some new sports gear, you could help an organisation like Prostate Cancer UK by buying your new kit from their online store. It doesn't have to be sports gear though, as you can purchase all sorts of different clothing and accessories and help a great cause.
BECOME A MATCHDAY VOLUNTEER
Leading UK prostate cancer charities have started an initiative to raise both funds and awareness at football matches, which are dominated by male spectators. Collections are usually conducted prior to kick-off, and most of the time you'll get a free ticket for the game in return for your collecting efforts. Whether doing this on your own or with friends, you can have a fantastic day - both contributing to a great cause and getting to watch the big match.
Online forums can be a wonderful source of support for people who either have cancer themselves or are close to someone affected by it. With prostate cancer, it's very common for children of men who've contracted the disease to seek information and advice from others who've experienced it. If you have computing skills, you could help to manage a website that hosts a forum or look after a dedicated page with monitoring and admin.
PROVIDE SUPPORT AND COMPANY IN THE HOME
Prostate cancer disproportionately affects older men, so many sufferers may not have spouses or other family members around to provide support. Why not get in touch with a charity and see if there's anything you can do to support someone with prostate cancer at home? That could involve taking care of important chores for them, or simply providing some company and conversation.
GET YOUR PROSTATE CHECKED
Prostate cancer usually develops slowly and can go undetected for many years. Catching it early could be the difference between life and death, with the prognosis better the sooner it's treated. A regular prostate cancer check is hugely important for men over 50. As well as getting your own prostate checked, talk openly about this and encourage other men you know to do so too.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
It's important to receive appropriate training before you come into contact with prostate cancer patients. As well as attending any initial sessions, you're also likely to receive access to resources for additional, ongoing development.
Most charities prefer if you can commit to a minimum number of hours per week and time period you can help out for, which is likely to be at least three months. However, lots of volunteering roles allow you to be flexible with when and for how long you help out, so don't let time constraints deter you from making an enquiry.
Where To Get Started
The UK has lots of incredible cancer charities that do wonderful work helping those affected by the disease. If you're interested in volunteering, these charities could be a good place to start:
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