Trust aims to help beat men’s cancer

Pontefract General Infirmary / Pontefract Hospital
Pontefract General Infirmary / Pontefract Hospital

Blue is being worn with pride by specialists at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust as they join forces with charities to raise awareness of cancer in men.

They are taking part in Blue September, an initiative designed to make men more aware of the signs of various cancers, inculding prostate, testicular, bowel, lung and skin cancer.

Jason Alcorn, clinical nurse specialist at the trust, which runs Pontefract, Pinderfields and Dewsbury hospitals, said: “If there is even the slightest concern about any symptom you may have, see your GP as soon as possible.”

He added men were generally more reluctant to seek help for health-related issues than women: “They perhaps worry about a loss of social status if they are ill. There may be factors that prevent them from making an appointment to see a GP, such as work.

“But if you are not healthy, then you will not be able to work. Your health comes first.”

Prostate cancer is the most common in men in the UK, with more than 40,000 diagnosed every year. In the Mid Yorkshire area, more than 300 men are diagnosed with the disease every year.

Mr Alcorn said: “The main symptoms are urinary, such as having to go to the toilet more frequently, and having to get up in the night. There is also an urgent need to go to the toilet.” He also reminded men of the importance of checking themsleves to any early signs of testicular cancer. Key signs to look out for include lumps in either testicle, a feeling of heaviness or a dull ache in the scrotum. Testicular cancer is known to affect mostly younger men, aged between 15 and 44.

Mr Alcorn said: “It can be treated very easily if it is caught early, but you must see your GP straight away if you are at all worried.”

Bowel cancer is the thir most common in men, but if caught early can ben cured in between 85 and 90 per cent of cases. The most common symptoms include changes of bowel habits, especially blood in the bowel motion.