Long-serving Sky Sports presenter and Prostate Cancer UK ambassador, Jeff Stelling, born in Hartlepool, is supporting the NHS across Teesside as they urge men at increased risk of prostate cancer to contact their GP as urgent referrals drop by over 50 per cent in the North-East compared to the same period last year.
Men over 50, particularly black men, and those with a family history of prostate cancer are most at risk. As most men don’t have any symptoms until the disease has spread and become incurable, the NHS is urging men at increased risk of prostate cancer to contact their GP.
The GP may then recommend a PSA blood test, which can give an indication of any problems with their prostate.
Sky Sports Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling, who has raised more than £1m for Prostate Cancer UK said:
‘It’s shocking to see the statistics about the drop in GP referrals, so it’s imperative that more men go back to their GPs and speak about their risk of prostate cancer.
‘I’ve met so many men and families affected by this awful disease, some with stories of despair and heartbreak, others that offer hope and inspiration.
‘Prostate Cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, and knowing the risk of prostate cancer is more critical than ever but we still need to do more. So please know your risk and take action. It may save your life.’
Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any symptoms, but some may experience: needing to pee more frequently, often during the night, needing to rush to the toilet, difficulty in starting to pee, feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully and blood in your pee.
These symptoms do not always mean you have prostate cancer. Many men’s prostates get larger as they get older but health leaders in the NHS are urging men who are at greater risk to contact their GP.
Dr Janet Walker, medical director, NHS Tees Valley CCG said; ‘I can understand why people have not been contacting their GP surgery in recent weeks but it’s important that you speak to your doctor if you are at increased risk of prostate cancer. The chances are it’s nothing serious but finding it early can make it more treatable.
‘Routine GP appointments are taking place online by telephone or video call, minimising face-to-face appointments. When someone does need to be seen, we are using carefully controlled access into GP practices, with staggered appointment times to avoid waiting in communal areas and using personal protective equipment (PPE) to stop the spread of any possible infection.’
Prostate Cancer UK’s 30 second online risk checker to help men understand their risk is available online at prostatecanceruk.org/riskcheck
Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can also contact Prostate Cancer UK’s Specialist Nurses on 0800 074 8383 or online at www.prostatecanceruk.org