Hywel Dda Health Board's pledge to reduce cancer deaths.
HYWEL Dda Health Board has pledged to reduce the number of people in its area dying of cancer by 100 every year.
The promise came at the start of Prostate Cancer month, which aims to raise awareness of the most common strain of the disease among men.
More than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, with 1,783 diagnosed with the disease in the South Wales Cancer network in 2010 — an area covering all parts of Wales except the north.
Sohail Moosa, head of urology and consultant urologist for the board, said: "Especially as you get older and if you have a family history of prostate cancer, it is important to look out for signs that something may have changed with your health.
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"You may live with Prostate Cancer for many years with no symptoms and unlike other cancers it can progress very slowly."
He added that the cancer did not normally cause any symptoms until late on, and these could include bone and back pain, loss of appetite, weight loss and problems with urination.
"Having these symptoms does not mean you have prostate cancer but it is still important that you seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity," he added.
Mansel Thomas, who is chairman of the Carmar- thenshire cancer charity Ail Gyfle, welcomed the pledge from the health board, adding: "It's a step forward in the right direction.
"Going back to my own situation, I can't complain at all.
''I was treated immediately and that's what it should be with everyone.
"Unfortunately, some people are not diagnosed early enough."
And he added his support that men with any symptoms of Prostate Cancer seek advice as early as possible.
Throughout March, West Wales Prostate Cancer Support Group, a patient-led group of volunteers, will have information stands at Hywel Dda Health Board's main hospital, offering support to prostate cancer patients, their families and friends.
Stands will be at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli's outpatient foyer on Monday, March 11, and at Glangwili Hospital on Tuesday, March 19.