Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Men are known for their reluctance to visit a doctor, even when they suspect that they have a serious health problem. It was therefore courageous of over 100 men to attend a briefing on the most common male cancers hosted by the UCKG HelpCentre at its Finsbury Park headquarters on Seven Sisters Road.
The main speaker was Patrick Cox, chief executive of the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign, MCAC. This organisation works to inform and educate men about the realities of prostate, bowel and testicular cancers, encouraging them to seek early treatment and avoid unnecessary premature deaths. Nurses were available to answer questions in private after the presentation, and attendees received an information pack with literature from the NHS.
Patrick Cox said: “The event went very well. It’s very good to see people like the UCKG HelpCentre doing something to raise awareness about this matter. I was very impressed by the courage of the audience in asking questions, it’s extremely rare to find an audience which is so open as men usually shy away from these subjects.”
One member of that audience, Charles Ajorgbor (age 49 – Haringey, London) said: “At first I wasn’t warm to this event but I’m really glad I attended. I found that all my questions were answered.” Reflecting the views of many men, he added: “I just wish that male cancer campaigns were as heavily promoted as those for women’s cancers.”
This view was echoed by Patrick Lesley (age 40 – Catford, London): “This is not something that is usually done for men, so I was really impressed from the start. I just wish that men had as much help as women do in regards to this subject”
Speaking for young men Julius Joseph (age 17 – Islington, London) added: “The event will be really helpful for me and all the males in my household. I know that in future I will be able to detect if anything may be wrong and help any elders in my household if there are any signs.”
The fact is that some 35,000 men are diagnosed with male cancers in Britain each year; across Europe the figure is a staggering 300,000. Early diagnosis increases the chances of successful treatment, however men are often poorly educated about cancers that can affect their most intimate body parts and embarrassment frequently delays the initial visit to a GP.
The organiser, Marco Andrade of the UCKG HelpCentre’s Community Outreach team, concluded: “There have been tremendous advances in cancer treatment in recent years. Yet as we learn through our pastoral work men frequently fail to take proper care of their health and lack basic knowledge that should prompt them to seek help. We hope this briefing will make a difference as we intended.”
Note to editors:
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are 36 UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7686 6033.