QEQM Hospital nurse inspired to write book following family tragedy

Thadeus Matemba with the book he has written about prostate cancer

By Liz Crudgington

A nurse whose father died of prostate cancer has written a book to raise awareness of the condition.

Thadeus Matemba, who works on Deal ward at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, also lost his mother just days after his father’s death, as she passed away the day before his funeral.

He hopes the book, Understanding Prostate Cancer, will help other families facing the condition. It is written from his experiences nursing his father as well as other patients in his role with East Kent Hospitals Trust.

Thadeus said: “My father’s cancer was not diagnosed until it had spread, so I want to raise awareness of the symptoms so people can be checked earlier.

“I want other families to have the knowledge, so lives can be saved.

“It is important my parents are not forgotten, and the book is one way of remembering them. I think they would be so proud, and would know their deaths were not in vain. If the book can save one life it would be fantastic.”

Thadeus’s mother and his siblings helped care for his father, and he died peacefully three years ago aged 75.

His mum died just days later and they were laid to rest together near their home in Tanzania. She was 72.

He said: “My mum was previously well but she just couldn’t bear my father’s death. I think she died of a broken heart.

“I was a third-year student nurse at the time and I wrote about prostate cancer for my dissertation. That was where the idea of a book came from.

“It did take a lot of research and time, and at one point I almost gave up, but my friends encouraged me to continue.”

The book was self-published and will be available on Amazon at the end of September. There are also copies in libraries across the Trust for staff to refer to, and Thadeus has shared it with colleagues.

It covers what prostate cancer is, its causes and how to mitigate the risks, treatment options and how to live well with prostate cancer.

Around 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the UK, with black and ethnic minorities more at risk, according to research.

Thadeus said: “The response has been overwhelming, lots of people have asked for copies. It is dedicated to my parents, but also to other families who are taking care of their loved ones with prostate cancer.

“A lot of it is relevant to cancer in general and it has a message of empowerment and hope about treatment options and the importance of a healthy lifestyle in reducing the risks.”

He hopes to donate some of the proceeds from the book to charity Prostate Cancer UK.


  1. Well done Thadeus sure it will be sold out.Having lost our Dad to prostate cancer with bone mets late 90’s we were unable to find any books by someone who had been through it themselves.I even drove him to QEQM for his surgery, only to be asked to collect him next day as the surgeon living in Canterbury had been unable to drive in due to snow, yet I was expected to having driven him there as agreed through snow.When eventually operated on, it was too advanced so my twin became his and then Mum’s carer.Thanet hospice staff wonderful and Mum gave a generous donation after.So glad you have written your book,I look forward to reading it.Keep up your excellent work, all the best for your future as author and registered nurse.

    • Thank you Dr Sandra Betts sharing your story. Sorry for the loss of your beloved father. Prostate cancer affects one person but the impact is felt by the entire family.I believe that people like you can continue raising the awareness and understanding of the condition as evidence shows that ca be successful treated if detected early. Every little message can make difference. Thank you.

  2. My father died of prostate cancer twenty years ago. His was too far gone to be saved by therapy or surgery but I’m sure your book will help many families. Well done! You have done your parents proud.

    • Thank you for congratulations! Sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved father. I believe that by raising awareness and health education to the general public about prostate cancer it may help to make a difference. Prostate cancer grows slowly and often without symptoms, hence, it is crucial that test is carried on for early detection.

  3. Hello Thaddeus,
    Congratulations on this great accomplishment. Your parents would have been very proud of you indeed especially knowing your intimate journey from the humble beginnings on the slopes of Mountain Kilimanjaro to the the first class Queen Elizabeth The Queen’s Mother Hospital. Prostrate cancer is a huge public health problem and a lot of people are unnecessarily dying because of this disease. I truly hope that your book will inspire and give hope to those suffering from the disease or caring for their loved ones. Stay blessed and please, keep up the good work.

    • Thank you so much again Joseph for your warm and encouraging words! I believe that by writing this book it will help one or more families going through what I went through. I also beilve that by raising awareness and understanding it will enable men coming out seek for help and support, preventing stigma associated with the condition which serves as barrier of fighting the condition. I believe prevention is the key to save more lives. Thank you.

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