Nearly one Doncaster person a week dies from bowel cancer because they ignore the tell-tale signs of blood in their poo, and local men are the hardest hit.
To raise awareness and save lives, NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has teamed up with Doncaster Rovers and the club’s community arm to spell out what to look for in the Keep a clean sheet campaign. Please click here: Keep a Clean sheet new web
The campaign, which features former Rovers’ goalkeeper Jan Budtz and Doncaster GP Dr Marco Pieri, urges people to tell their doctor if they’ve had blood in their poo, or looser poo, for the past three weeks.
Rovers are giving the campaign high profile coverage at Saturday’s packed home derby with Sheffield United, where NHS staff will be giving out special information leaflets to fans and health messages will be flashed up on the ground’s big screen.
Dr Nick Tupper, chair of the CCG, said: “Early diagnosis of bowel cancer is key to beating the disease, but men can be a difficult target audience to reach as they often put off going to see their doctor. We want them to get checked if they see any sign of blood.
“We’re grateful for Rovers’ support and hopeful that we can repeat the success of a prostate cancer awareness campaign we ran with them last season. It led to more than 100 Doncaster men having their first treatment for some form of urological cancer compared to the same period the previous year – an increase of 50 per cent. It has also had the positive spin-off of increasing the detection of other urological diseases, including kidney and bladder cancers.”
Saturday’s game against Sheffield Utd will feature long-time Rovers fan and cancer survivor, Richard Rimmington, who is also a lottery agent for the club. Richard, 62, from Town Moor, became a fan 50 years ago. He had a successful operation for bowel cancer over three years ago and is now a member of a local ‘survivorship’ group, run by the Macmillan Cancer charity, that’s helping to influence how cancer support services are provided in Doncaster
He said: “I’m delighted to support the campaign. Since having bowel cancer I’ve made all my mates aware of the signs and symptoms to look out for. This is a great opportunity to spread the message far and wide.”
A key element of Keep a clean sheet will be to get fans involved via match programmes, social media sites and the club’s website.
And around Doncaster pharmacists will be supporting the scheme by dispensing prescription medicines in around 90,000 bags carrying the Keep a clean sheet message.
Liam Scully, chief executive of Club Doncaster Foundation, Rovers’ community arm, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering the CCG to raise awareness and early detection of bowel cancer. The campaign is one of three that will take part over the course of the season, with lung and prostate cancer to follow in January and April.
“Our aim is to encourage supporters to get make an appointment with their local GP if they see any signs or symptoms. We hope that the Doncaster community can help us beat this deadly disease.”