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Cancer charity launches ‘online nurse chat’ to reach men

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The charity Prostate Cancer UK has launched an online nurse support service for men, which aims to get round some people’s reluctance to approach a health professional in person.

Prostate Cancer UK’s new “live chat service” was launched today as part of a series of digital services for men living with, or worried about, prostate cancer.

“Men are notoriously bad at talking about their health, particularly to health professionals”

Karen Sumpter

It will give men and anyone with concerns or questions about prostate cancer the opportunity to chat to one of the charity’s specialist Nurse online.

As well as having the option to speak to a nurse using the charity’s existing phone service, men who visit the Prostate Cancer UK website will  also receive an invitation from a nurse to chat about their concerns via instant messaging.

The service, which initially ran as a three month pilot project, is expected to appeal to men who find it difficult to talk about their health concerns with health professionals face-to-face, or over the phone.

A survey, conducted for the charity, showed that 53% of men would go online for information before booking an appointment with their GP if they were concerned about a health issue.

Karen Sumpter, clinical lead at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Men are notoriously bad at talking about their health, particularly to health professionals.

“However increasingly, we’re seeing a growing trend of men going online to find answers to their health concerns before going to their GP or discussing them with loved ones,” she said.

“During the three month pilot project for Live chat, our specialist nurses connected with over 160 people online – mainly men who were concerned about prostate cancer,” she said. “We’re proud to be leading the way in this area.”

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