Tackling men’s health- Action Man campaign

EVERY year in the Cookstown and Dungannon area, 148 men are diagnosed with and 92 men die from cancer.

As part of its male cancer awareness campaign in June, Action Man, leading local cancer charity Action Cancer is offering 700 free M.O.T. health checks for men across Northern Ireland.

The male cancer awareness campaign aims to encourage men to ‘Get a Grip’ of their general health and to highlight awareness of the signs and symptoms of male specific cancers such as testicular and prostate cancers.

Over the campaign period, 700 free M.O.T. health checks for men will be offered across Northern Ireland.

Malachy Nixon, Action Cancer’s Male Health Promotion Officer, explained why: “Every year in Northern Ireland there are approximately 4,000 men diagnosed with cancer- that’s 11 men every day. Although men are 16% more likely to develop cancer than women, they are 40% more likely to die from the disease.

“This has been attributed to poor lifestyle choices, such as eating an unhealthy diet and taking less exercise, and reluctance to discuss personal health matters. By not monitoring their health they are at higher chance of not detecting cancer or other serious conditions at an early and, hopefully, more treatable stage.

“As over half of all cancers could be prevented with the right lifestyle choices, such as eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, not smoking, drinking alcohol responsibly and being safe in the sun, our MOT health checks present men with a snap shot of their general health which can empower them to make more positive lifestyle choices in the future.”

The free M.O.T. health checks incorporate a number of assessments including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, facial skin analysis, peak flow measurements and body composition analysis, as well as lifestyle advice and information on male specific cancers.

These checks do not diagnose cancer but aim to increase awareness of our current health and the importance of early detection.

Rugby Star Chris Henry said: “The work that Action Cancer does to highlight male health issues through its Action Man campaign prompts men to stop and think about their lifestyle and how to make informed choices to improve their well-being and reduce their risk of cancer and others serious illnesses.

“By paying more attention to our health, keeping our equipment in check and approaching our GPs if we have any concerns, we can actively help to keep ourselves fighting fit.”

As part of the charity’s commitment to men’s health, last year Action Cancer developed the Action Man Programme that helps workplaces support the health and wellbeing of their male employees.

Each employee will benefit from an initial M.O.T. health check and using the results from the check, can set their own personal targets, such as weight loss or increased muscle mass, and with support from Action Cancer, are encouraged to make practical and positive lifestyle changes to help reach them within a set 12 week period. The second check at the end of the 12 weeks will measure any change and gauge the progress made.

To book an M.O.T. health check onboard the Big Bus visit www.actioncancer.org or call Action Cancer on 028 9080 3344.