We’ve launched a men’s health campaign called ActionMan, funded by Action Hampshire. It will encourage men of all ages and backgrounds to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and contact their GP if they have any concerns.
ActionMan has been launched in response to the results of a study carried out by a group of junior doctors in Hampshire. It found that:
-43% of men would feel discouraged from talking about worrying changes to their body for fear of ‘making a fuss’ and;
-23% would be too embarrassed.
Many men delay seeing a doctor because they’re frightened about what they might find out or don’t know how to talk about changes to their body. The campaign aims to reach thousands of men through groups, including:
-Workplaces like the emergency services
-Organisations like Rotary, Masons and Lions
-Health-related support and carer organisations
-When Covid-19 restrictions allow – face-to-face events.
The campaign also recognises the role loved ones have in encouraging men to speak to their GP if they feel something might be wrong and aims to reach this group too.
Click here to visit the ActionMan website. It contains:
-Advice on common male cancers and their symptoms
-Information about the support we can provide
-Medical opinions on the importance of ActionMan
-How to get involved
-Videos from some famous faces
-Stories from local men who have been affected by cancer.
If you’d like to get in touch with the ActionMan team about anything, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sally Rickard, Managing Director of the Wessex Cancer Alliance, which brings together clinicians and managers from health, social care and other services to transform diagnosis, treatment and care for cancer patients, says:
“This is a really important campaign to help encourage men to seek the advice they need for any worrying symptoms that could be a sign of cancer. We know that 9 times out of 10 it won’t be cancer but it is so much better to know that for sure and if you do need treatment, then catching the cancer early will lead to better outcomes. There are several ways you can also help to prevent cancer, such as taking part in bowel screening or asking for a PSA test if you are worried about prostate cancer. The NHS is here to see you safely and no one is wasting our time; it is what we are here to do and so please help us to help you.”
Paul started experiencing pain when he was 19 but ignored it for almost 15 years:
“As a typical bloke I didn’t like to think there was anything wrong with me so I tried to put it out of my mind. Also, the thought of being examined by a doctor petrified me. By the time I was 34 there was a sizeable lump and my wife made me go to the doctor. Luckily, everything was fine but I wish I’d gone sooner. I get that blokes don’t want to go to the doctor. Generally we’re fixers and have this pressure to act like there’s nothing wrong all the time. But we have a stark choice, don’t we? Accept that we might have to endure a few minutes of feeling a bit awkward, or risk if we don’t, we may not be there for our families and mates in the future.”
Read all of Paul’s Story here
Launching ActionMan, Sally Hillyear, Wessex Cancer Trust’s Head of Fundraising and Communications, says:
“We know that men are 60% more likely to get cancer, and yet this group makes up just 20% of the people who ask us for support. We’re launching ActionMan because it’s really important for men to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and take action if they’re worried about any changes to their bodies. We also want men to help their friends and loved ones by making it ok to talk about things. The idea behind the campaign really is as simple as that, but it could make a huge difference.”
If you have a symptom you’re worried about, please contact your GP immediately. They are ready to help you. If it is cancer then being seen early could be the key to better treatment options.Sally Rickard, MD of the Wessex Cancer Alliance