A football club and an NHS Trust have teamed up in an award-winning partnership to take away the fear factor surrounding the most common cancer in men.
After attending a health awareness event at the Pirelli Stadium – home of Burton Albion football club – consultant urological surgeon Jyoti Shah, of Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, arranged to hold screenings at the stadium over two days at the end of March for men aged over 50.
The aim was to raise awareness of the disease and to make men feel more relaxed about seeking help and advice in familiar surroundings where they felt comfortable.
Prostate Cancer UK is the Official Charity Partner of the English Football League and days before the screenings were held TV sports presenter Jeff Stelling led a fundraising walk into the Pirelli Stadium attracting further publicity for prostate cancer awareness and generating donations for the national charity.
The screenings by Miss Shah and her team were fully-booked by 113 men and 18 of them were offered biopsies as a result of their examinations.
Cancer was detected in eight of them who are undergoing further treatment.
Miss Shah said: “Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the western world. This campaign is about raising awareness and dispelling the myths, and also about how we can help people who have to go through that journey. “It is innovative working with a football club and it’s the perfect way of reaching a large number of people who might not want to visit a doctor or a hospital, but may be more receptive to a health initiative through the football club they support and in an environment they are familiar with.”
The partnership led to the urology department being awarded a trophy for Awareness Campaign of the Year by Burton Albion Community Trust in September 2016.
Joining Miss Shah and Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioner Sarah Minns on stage to receive the award from local council leader Richard Grosvenor, was Burton Albion supporter Rod Gent.
Mr Gent was one of the eight men found to have prostate cancer through the screenings. He said he had experienced no symptoms and was shocked to learn he had prostate cancer. He had surgery seven weeks after his screening at the stadium. He said: “To others, I’d say please just get yourself checked if you have the opportunity. I can’t praise enough the care that I’ve been given since.”