Alnwick charity event aims to ensure that men 'don't die of ignorance'

Mark Hobrough at the Northern Centre for Cancer Research.Mark Hobrough at the Northern Centre for Cancer Research.
Mark Hobrough at the Northern Centre for Cancer Research.
An Alnwick man who received a shock prostate cancer diagnosis at the age of 50 is urging others not to ignore any symptoms.

Mark Hobrough thought he might have a mild urinary infection when he was finally persuaded to go and see a doctor.

“I was diagnosed with Stage 3 prostate cancer so it came as a bit of a shock to me as I was only 50,” he admitted.

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“They told me that if I didn’t respond well to treatment that I might only have another two or three years.”

Barter Books in Alnwick.Barter Books in Alnwick.
Barter Books in Alnwick.

Fortunately, after three years of hormone treatment and 37 radiotherapy sessions, Mark’s cancer is now undetectable.

“If I’d left it another month before going to the doctor I think there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be here now,” he said.

Now 54, Mark is determined to increase awareness of prostate cancer – which claims the lives of more than 11,500 men across the UK every year.

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“I felt strongly that someone needed to get up and talk about this,” he said. “Blokes generally are pretty bad at talking to each other about this sort of stuff.”

To that end, he is among those taking part in a fund-raising and awareness raising event at Barter Books in Alnwick on Monday, February 10 at 7.30pm.

He will be joined by Prostate Cancer UK volunteers Cathie Gascoigne and Gilllies Owens and prostate cancer specialists Professor Jim Allan (genetics), Dr Luke Gaughan (research), and Nick Willis (Freeman radiotherapist).

“We’ll be talking about what prostate cancer is, the symptoms, research and treatment,” said Mark, who is an ambassador for the men’s health organisation, Movember.

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Mark’s own ill health also prompted a major career change, swapping his job as a music industry consultant to running the Beehive antiques shop in Alnwick.

He said: “I used to travel all over the world with my job but it makes you realise that other things are more important so I decided on a different pace of life.

“If just one person gives themselves a chance to get diagnosed early and goes on to spend many years spending time with their children and grandchildren then it will have been worthwhile.”

Prostate Cancer UK is Barter Books’ charity of the year.

For further information visit

Admission to the event, titled Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Prostate Cancer But Jolly Well Should!, is £10 with all proceeds to Prostate Cancer UK. Please book in advance at the shop or phone 01665 604999.

Facts and Figures

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.

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More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that's 129 men every day.

Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 11,500 men every year.

1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Around 400,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

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In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age. The risk is even higher for black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.