Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Haverigg man backs Movember after cancer diagnosis

A VETERAN campaigner has backed a cancer awareness campaign after being diagnosed with the illness.

SUPPORT: Gary Jackson, from Haverigg, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, has thrown his support behind the Movember campaign LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50040689B000

Gary Jackson was told he has prostate cancer in early October and has now backed the popular Movember campaign.

Movember challenges men to gather sponsors and grow a moustache throughout the month of November in a bid to raise awareness of men’s health issues, including testicular and prostate cancer.

Mr Jackson, chairman of South Copeland Disability Group and the Cumbria Centre for Independent Living, said: “Movember is very important in bringing up the issue to the public at large.

“Prostate cancer is something you want to catch early. If you think there is something wrong don’t feel embarrassed – get it checked out.”

Mr Jackson, 57, of Glencoe Close, Haverigg, was diagnosed after being admitted to hospital following a urinary tract infection in September.

Doctors noticed a high level of PSA, a protein produced by cells, and following an examination and further testing Mr Jackson was diagnosed with the condition.

He said: “It’s been an emotional roller coaster. I suspected it might be the case because of the test results but it makes you feel quite cold when you’re told.”

In 2009, 40,841 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK and in 2010 there were 10,721 deaths from the condition.

From 2005 to 2009, 81 per cent of men in England survived their prostate cancer for five years or more.

Symptoms for prostate cancer include needing to urinate frequently, waking up needing to urinate in the night and passing blood, but Mr Jackson was not affected by any of the symptoms and said he was lucky to have undergone the blood test.

He has now started preliminary treatment and will receive monthly injections and is expecting to be put on a treatment plan soon.

Mr Jackson said he hopes by highlighting the condition men with health concerns will seek help, rather than suffer in silence.

He added: “At 57 I am considered rather young to have prostate cancer – this shows it is not necessarily an issue for old men.

“I found out purely by chance otherwise it might have been quite a while before it came to light. The luck of this is that I am having treatment much earlier than I would otherwise.

“Early prostate cancer is very treatable, which is why creating awareness is so important.

“There was an advertising campaign with Bob Monkhouse where he said ‘Don’t die of embarrassment’ – these sort of health issues are very important. The sooner you pick up on these things the sooner they can be diagnosed.”

lMOVEMBER: If you’re growing a moustache in Movember, what better way to promote your involvement, than by getting in touch with the Evening Mail? Email your pictures and reason for joining in to and we’ll feature your efforts at the end of the month.

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