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Don't die of embarrassment

The Trust's cancer information and support team, 'Talking about Cancer' (TAC), is calling on the region's men to take notice of their health and be proactive in attending their local GP.

Fiona McQuiston Health Improvement Lead, from the Trust's Health Improvement Service said: "Figures show that there are around 848 new cases of cancer every day in the UK and it is expected that more than 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime. Early presentation at GP surgeries and earlier diagnosis can help increase the treatment and survival success rates. We are encouraging men across the region to not take any risks and to be aware of their body and health.

"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.

"These are sometimes things many men may be embarrassed to talk about, that's why we feel it is important to go out into the community to try and reduce this stigma and increase awareness because it is vitally important that if they have any of these symptoms they get them checked out as soon as possible. This can make a real difference to their recovery and outcome."

To raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of prostate and testicular cancer and the importance of early presentation if signs and symptoms are experienced, the team is visiting community venues across the county to provide advice and information, these are open drop in sessions: 

Monday 18 July, 11am - 1pm The Parish Centre, Church Chare, Chester-le-Street

Monday 18 July 9:30-11am, Freemans Quay Leisure Centre

Thursday 21 July 10:30-12noon, Coundon Library

Friday 22 July 11:30 - 1pm, Teesdale Leisure Centre

Friday 22 July 10am - 12noon, Tesco Newton Aycliffe

Monday 25 July 10:30 - 2pm, Gala Bingo  33 Skinnergate, Darlington

Monday 25 July 10am - 12noon, Chester-le-Street Library

Wednesday 27 July 10:30-12:30 ASDA Seaham

Wednesday 27 July 1pm-3pm, Trimdon Colliery Play Park (behind Trimdon Colliery Doctors surgery)

Wednesday 27 July 12 - 1:30pm, Sherburn Hill Leisure Centre

Thursday 28 July 10 - 11:30am, Bishop Auckland Library

Friday 29 July 6-8pm, Sacriston Social Club

If you are a community group, pharmacy, GP surgery, men's support group or any other local organisation that would benefit from the expertise of the TAC team and would like one of their members to deliver a Men's Health awareness session, or a drop in session, please contact Matthew Cooper, Health Improvement Practitioner for cancer prevention on 01388 742564.

Published: 15 July 2011

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham