The experiences of prostate cancer patients and their partners are featured in a moving photography exhibition hosted by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).
‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ by Ian Smith will be on display at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) until June 2019. The striking photographs are on the walls outside the hospital’s Macmillan Unit in Medical Unit 1on Ashton Road and all are welcome to view them at any time.
Ian from Anderton near Chorley, who is living with prostate cancer, is eager to spread awareness of the disease and urges all men to make themselves aware of signs and symptoms. He also encourages men to see their GP if they have concerns as early detection often means better outcomes for patients.
Ian said: “My exhibition is all about what chaps with prostate cancer have to go through.
“It’s also about how important the support of a wife or partner is on that journey. I hope it will bring inspiration to men who might be starting on that journey. There’s a lot of misinformation out there.
“Men don’t often talk about their health as they’re too embarrassed but one in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer.
“You need to get checked. I wish I hadn’t ignored my symptoms. My world just fell apart when I was diagnosed. I needed a lot of treatment and am still receiving care.
“If I can stop just one man feeling the way I felt, it will be a success to me. I want to give guys the confidence to get checked. They need to get checked early. This is my main message.”
Ian’s exhibition has also been shown at hospitals in Preston, Blackpool and Chorley. He was delighted to learn that his exhibition resulted in a big uptake of prostate cancer information leaflets. The exhibition at the RLI was organised by Lorraine Jones, Macmillan Information Support and Service Manager at Trust.
Each photograph in the exhibition features a man who has been affected by prostate cancer and his partner. Alongside each photograph are some poignant words explaining why his partner’s support made a difference.
The photographs were the cornerstone of a BA Photography course at Bolton College which Ian completed with a First Class Honours degree in 2018.
Ian added: “The approach and the treatment I have received from the NHS have been excellent.”
Lynne Wyre, Director of Nursing for UHMBT, said: “We are delighted that Ian’s exhibition is being shown at the hospital.
“It is in a busy area so hopefully many people will see it and be inspired by it. It will also be good if it encourages more men to seek help and support if they are concerned about prostate cancer or if they have signs and symptoms.”
Ian’s work can be viewed at www.iansmithphoto.com
Visit the Macmillan Unit at the RLI to pick up information and find support. We also have Macmillan information pods at the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal and Furness General Hospital in Barrow.