Health professionals across County Durham and Darlington are
supporting a national campaign throughout September to raise
awareness of cancer in men.
'Blue September' is a worldwide campaign created to get the
message out about cancer in men. It urges men to take preventative
action by improving their lifestyle choices and to seek advice from
a GP if they have any symptoms which could be cancer.
154,000 men a year are diagnosed with cancer in the UK and
81,000 men a year die. Men in the UK are about 60% more likely to
develop one of the cancers that affects both men and women, such as
lung or bowel cancer. Men are also about 70% more likely to
die from one of these cancers.
But many male cancer deaths can be prevented through healthy
lifestyle decisions and early detection.
Sharon Smith, Health Improvement Specialist, County Durham and
Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "At least one in three cancer
cases is preventable. Thousands of men's lives could be saved by
making healthy lifestyle decisions such as quitting smoking,
reducing alcohol intake, taking care in the sun, participating in
regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a
"Lives can also be saved if more men know more about the
symptoms of cancer and contact a health professional as soon as
they notice something worrying such as a lump or a nagging cough.
So during September the Trust's Talking About Cancer team will be
hosting a series of roadshows across the county when staff will be
on hand with information and advice about signs and symptoms and
how to do self checks.
"We'll also be reaching out to local women through the roadshows as
well because we know that many men ignore their health and it is
often the women in their lives - mothers, wives and children - who
give them the push not to just ignore things.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with around 101
men diagnosed every day in the UK. Some of the common signs and
symptoms to look out for include needing to pee often, especially
at night, difficulty in starting to pee, straining to pee or taking
a long time to finish, pain when peeing or during sex or pain in
the back hips or pelvis.
Testicular cancer is rare before puberty but is the most common
cancer of men aged between 15 - 44, if diagnosed and caught early
more than 95% of men are cured. Signs and symptoms include a hard
lump on the front or side of a testicle, swelling or enlargement of
a testicle, pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum or a
dull ache in the lower stomach or groin. It is recommended
that men should self examine their testicles at least once a month
to check for changes and if any of the above symptoms are noticed
they should get these checked out.
Rates of skin cancer are rising rapidly in the UK and more men
than women die from the disease. A little sunshine is a great
source of vitamin D, but prolonged exposure can increase the risk
of developing skin cancer. When outside (even on a cloudy day) men
should wear a long sleeved top and trousers, put on a hat and some
sun tan lotion, at least factor 15, with a high UVA. They should
also check their skin regularly, looking out for any changes to the
skin such as a new growth or sore that will not heal, a spot, mole
or sore that itches or hurts, or a mole or growth that bleeds,
crusts or scabs.
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust's, Talking
About Cancer Team, will be out across County Durham and Darlington
throughout September raising awareness of male cancers and advising
men of how they can reduce the risk of developing the disease.
The roadshows will take place as follows:
The team is also looking for workplaces to work with in order to
raise awareness, if you would like the team to come into your
workplace please contact Sharon Smith on 01388 742562.
Published: 30 August
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community