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Local roadshows support international campaign to raise awareness of cancer in men

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 balanced diet.

"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:

  • Thursday 1 September: 9:30am - 2pm, Stanley Market Place
  • Friday 2 September: 10am - 12 noon, Krazy Kingdom, Greencroft Industrial Estate, Annfield Plain
  • Friday 2 September: 9am - 4:30pm, Community Centre, Hesleden Road, Blackhall Colliery
  • Friday 2 September: 1:30pm - 4pm, Dr Reddy's Surgery, The Avenue, Seaham
  • Monday 5 September: 1:30pm - 3:30pm, Krazy Kingdom, Greencroft Industrial Estate, Annfield Plain
  • Monday 5 September: 12 noon - 4pm, Darlington College
  • Tuesday 6 September: 11:30am - 1:30pm, Horden Youth and Community Centre
  • Wednesday 7 September:10:30am - 12:30pm, Tesco, Newton Aycliffe
  • Wednesday 7 September: 1pm - 4pm, Sedgefield Community Hospital
  • Thursday 8 September:10am - 12noon, Homebase, Watling Road, Bishop Auckland
  • Thursday 8 September: 9:30am - 12noon, Sedgefield Community Hospital
  • Thursday 8 September: 10:30 - 12:30pm, Asda, Seaham
  • Friday 9 September: 1:30pm - 4pm Dr Reddy's Surgery, The Avenue, Seaham
  • Monday 12 September 2pm - 3:30pm Bowburn Library
  • Monday 12 September 11am - 1pm Wickes DIY Store, Haughton Road, Darlington  
  • Tuesday 13 September 9am - 11:30am Jewson Building Suppliers, Lingfield Way, Yarm Road, Darlington Wednesday 14 September 10am - 12 noon B & Q, Bob Hardisty Drive, Bishop Auckland
  • Thursday 15 September 10am - 12 noon Bishop Auckland library
  • Thursday 15 September 10am - 12 noon Consett Library
  • Thursday 15 September 9am - 12noon Cancer Information and Support Centre, Castle Dene Shopping Centre, Peterlee
  • Friday 16 September 10am - 12noon Newgate Shopping Centre, Bishop Auckland
  • Friday 16 September 1:30pm - 4pm Dr Reddy's Surgery, Seaham
  • Tuesday 20 September 1pm - 3pm Horden Victory Club
  • Wednesday 21 September 11:30am - 1:30pm Lisa Dixon Centre, Haswell
  • Thursday 22 September 10am - 11:30am Coundon library
  • Thursday 22 September 2pm - 4pm Horden Labour Club, 
  • Friday 23 September 2pm - 4pm Horden Conservative Club
  • Friday 23 September 1:30pm - 4pm Dr Reddy's Surgery, the Avenue, Seaham
  • Monday 26 September 9:30am - 11:30am 4 Clocks Centre, Bishop Auckland
  • Friday 30 September 1:30pm - 4pm Dr Reddy's Surgery, The Avenue, Seaham
  • Friday 30 September 10am - 12noon Supporting the Macmillan Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning at the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre, Castle Dene Shopping Centre, Peterlee

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 2011 

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital