A Calne cancer survivor is hoping his story will help others, and has volunteered to go public in a charity campaign.

Prostate cancer charities Prostate Cancer Research and Tackle are launching a new campaign to break down the taboos around the side effects of prostate cancer treatment.

Alphonso Archer, 58, wants to share his experience - and says many men are suffering in silence.

"I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016 and opted to have three months of hormone therapy followed by four weeks of radiotherapy," he explained.

"The hormone therapy resulted in frequent mood changes, hot flushes and erectile dysfunction, which proved to be temporary side effects but nevertheless, psychologically challenging to deal with initially. The radiotherapy presented challenges such as urinary incontinence, which you eventually learn to control through pelvic floor exercises."

He feels that being black, there can sometimes be an added layer of complexity on talking about side effects as a general as the black community don't often openly talk about health-related issues.

"The treatment and side effects, whilst emasculating and dehumanising at the time, are not insurmountable. I would encourage others who are experiencing side effects from their prostate cancer treatment to speak to others about how you feel – your partner, men at your local support group, family or friends, as well as your healthcare team – they’re there to help and talking to others can help take the weight off your shoulders. I’m not embarrassed to talk about my side effects and encourage others to do the same. It gets easier with time and a holistic approach to your health."

David James, Head of Patient Projects at Prostate Cancer Research, said: "We want everyone to feel able to speak about the effects of their treatment without fear of judgement. We all have a part to play in normalising these discussions and banishing these taboos.”

Ken Mastris, Chair at Tackle Prostate Cancer, comments: “ I know I found, and many men find these conversations difficult to have, which is why this campaign aims to help break down the taboos around ‘hard topics’ and help more people open up.”

The research also found that two thirds (69%) of men feel speaking to other men living with prostate cancer, or having their friends and family understand how they feel, would help them discuss some of the ‘hard’ topics more openly.