Bognor FC plays its part in ensuring local men are screened for cancer

The Information Stand at the Football ClubThe Information Stand at the Football Club
The Information Stand at the Football Club
Bognor Regis FC and its community initiative Bognor FC Rocks played its part in ensuring local men are engaged in cancer screening on World Cancer Awareness Day on February 4. The football was selected as one of the venue for an awareness campaign as the older male local football supporters are the target audience and Bognor Regis has low take up of screening.

A joint partnership of Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester (VAAC) and Regis Healthcare Primary Care Network, who represent the nine local GP Practices in the Bognor and Arundel area, has been created to raise awareness of two types of cancer that if detected early, have a greater chance of successful treatment. These are bowel and prostate cancer.

Representatives set up an information stand at a Bognor FC football match on Saturday 11 February 2023, with 450 fans in attendance. The information stand was in prime position at the main entrance for people to see as they entered and staff also walked around the stands and hospitality areas engaging with fans. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with most people happy to engage with the representatives on what can be a sensitive topic. There were also announcements over the tannoy system.

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Charlotte Walker (VAAC’s Community Health Engagement Manager) said: “We were really pleased to chat to over 40 men before, at half time and end of the game. We want to encourage men to be proactive about screening as it saves lives. It was also a great atmosphere as the players also played their part with a 4-2 win’.”

VAAC’s involvement in the project is part of a wider piece of work around raising awareness and uptake of the three cancer screening programmes offered by the NHS, those being cervical, breast and bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer. It is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone survives bowel cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage, but this drops significantly as the disease develops. Early diagnosis really does save lives.

The free bowel cancer screening test is called a FIT test and can detect the disease before symptoms appear. It is sent every two years to those aged 60 to 74 years who are registered with a GP. The FIT test is done by yourself and completed in your own home, at a time convenient to you. The completed FIT test is returned via the post. Results take approximately ten working days.

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If you meet the criteria and have not completed a FIT test in the previous two years, please call 0800 707 6060 to request one.Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. In the UK, about one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. There is no screening program for prostate cancer. Early prostate cancer often has no symptoms, and lots of the symptoms can be due to other conditions.So, what can you do? Assess if you are in a high-risk group or if you have a symptom that requires investigation?

High risk groups:• Age: the risk of prostate cancer increases with age, and most cases are diagnosed in men aged over 50 years.• Ethnicity: black men are at a higher risk of prostate cancer.• Family history: men with a family history of prostate cancer, particularly if the family members were under 60 years when diagnosed.

Possible Symptoms:• Peeing more than normal, particularly at night• Regularly needing to pee urgently• Finding it hard to pee• Difficulty getting or keeping an erection• Blood in your pee, even if it only happens once• Even if it is not listed, if it is not normal for you, get it checked out.

Please contact your GP if you are in a high-risk group or have any symptoms. Your GP can discuss your risk and the tests available to diagnose prostate cancer.