A CANCER survivor in Herefordshire is urging more men to access local cancer information and support which could help to significantly improve their physical and mental health.

In March 2016, Terry Williams from Hereford was treated for prostate cancer. Two years later, Mr Williams started to experience symptoms related to the long term effects of radiotherapy treatment. After consulting his GP and his nurse, he decided to seek extra information and advice from the Macmillan Information and Support Centre about the long term effects of treatment.

Mr Williams, 71, said, "I have found that generally, men are apprehensive to discuss their health problems because maybe they want to uphold a macho image or because admitting a health problem is seen as a weakness.

"I have no problem discussing my experience and think more men should try to be the same."

Recent data from Macmillan's Information and Support Centre at Hereford County Hospital reveals that over the last 12 months, more than twice as many women have accessed local cancer information than men.

From April 2018 to March 2019, a total 2,151 people visited the centre, of which 705 were men and 1,436 were women.

The data collected by the centre also reveals that 1,244 of people who accessed the service for information or support were people living with cancer.

Mr Williams added: "I visited the Macmillan Information and Support Centre at the Macmillan Renton Unit and gained some very useful information on the after affects of radiotherapy.

"Alison Stemp, who runs the service, understood my problems and gave me excellent information, for which I am grateful."

Alison Stemp, Macmillan Information and Support Centre Manager, said: "Traditionally, men have been less inclined to seek information and support but being guided towards the right information at the right time can help to relieve many of the worries that come with a cancer diagnosis and its subsequent treatments. We encourage anyone who wants more support or information to visit the Macmillan Information and Support Centre at the Macmillan Renton Unit so we can support you from the moment you are diagnosed."

The centre provides access to cancer information, practical advice, and emotional support to anyone affected by cancer. If needed, the team will sign post onto other local services that could help people affected by cancer.

The centre displays a wide range of useful information covering subjects from awareness of signs and symptoms, to diagnosis and tests, treatment and side effects, work, benefits and a range of practical issues. All resources at the centre are provided free of charge.

To find out more about Macmillan services and support available in your area, please visit www.macmillan.org or call the Macmillan Support Line for free on 0808 808 00 00.