STAFF from Together Housing Group (THG) in Blackburn raised £575 for Prostate Cancer UK after hearing about the life-threatening condition during a regular toolbox talk.
John Taylor, a survivor of prostate cancer who now volunteers for the charity, was invited into the housing provider’s Blackburn office to raise awareness of men’s health. He spoke to the repairs team at its monthly toolbox talk team meeting.
“Many men I have spoken to tend to know nothing about prostate cancer, so the main piece of information I would like people to take away from these talks is to just be aware,” Taylor said. “The earlier it is detected the sooner they can start to have treatment and afterwards go on to live completely normal lives.”
Prostate cancer affects one in eight men with early diagnosis vital to successful treatment. However, men rarely know much about the warning signs or feel confident enough to talk about symptoms they may be experiencing.
Indeed, 80% of men diagnosed with the early stages of prostate cancer do not experience any symptoms. This makes the spreading of awareness and reminders for men to go to regular check-ups very important as currently the NHS does not roll out any reminders or yearly checks.
Mathew O’Brien, THG’s repairs team coordinator, said: “The feedback we received from the talks was really good and I think all the engineers who attended really do have a good awareness now of the warning signs and what to do. Of course, men do not always speak about their health so hopefully by opening up this discussion we can save someone’s life.”
The difference between early detection and late detection can be life and death. When detected early, prostate cancer survival rates are better than 98%. Find it late, and those survival rates drop below 26%.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men and the third deadliest cancer in the UK after lung and bowel cancer. It currently kills around 11,000 men a year.
Main Image: Prostate cancer survivor John Taylor with Together Housing Group’s repairs team co-ordinator Mathew O’Brien