Doncaster health chiefs this week launch a new cancer awareness campaign at Rovers’ home match with Barnsley on Saturday.
Tackle lung cancer early and get extra time is aiming to get fans to know the warning signs of lung cancer and to spread the message: ‘Been coughing for three weeks or more? Tell your doctor.’
NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group is rolling out the campaign in partnership with Club Doncaster, the community arm of Doncaster Rovers.
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in Doncaster for men and women, and currently more local women have the disease than men.
In the five years from 2009 to 2013, some 1,166 Doncaster people died from lung cancer -an average of 233 a year.
But a Doncaster woman who has successfully battled the disease is the face behind the campaign. Sheila Horton, from Scawthorpe, is fighting fit after a visit to her GP just over a year ago led to a quick diagnosis and fast access to treatment.
She took part in the campaign poster photo-shoot with two Rovers men who also like to keep making appearances – James Coppinger, who has played more than 400 times for the club, former player Tim Ryan and youngsters James Barker and Alex Wroe.
Doncaster GP Dr Sam Feeney also appears on the poster, urging people to contact their doctor if they have had a cough that has lasted for three weeks or more.
The new campaign follows on from the success of Keep a clean sheet, which featured former Rovers’ goalkeeper Jan Budtz highlighting the warning signs of bowel cancer that was unveiled at the home game against Sheffield United last November.
Following that coverage, NHS Doncaster CCG asked Rovers’ fans for feedback about the impact it had on them. Some 72 per cent of those who responded to a questionnaire said that before seeing the campaign message they would have sought medical advice if they saw blood in their poo. But, pleasingly, some 98 per cent said that after seeing the campaign message they would definitely contact their GP if they spotted those warning signs.
NHS Doncaster CCG Chair, Dr Nick Tupper, said: “Making fans, their families and friends aware of the possible early signs of lung cancer will hopefully help save more lives in Doncaster. So please remember, if you’ve had a cough for three weeks or more, make an appointment to see your GP. It may be nothing to worry about, but get it checked out as early detection and diagnosis of the disease is key to fast treatment and a successful outcome.”
The campaign message will be advertised in Doncaster media, social media sites and on thousands of medicine bags issued at local pharmacies.
- Find out more at www.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/beclear and watch our short film, with a message from Tim Ryan, on youtube at https://youtu.be/EVSMvXTNV_A
Here’s the campaign poster: