Men urged to take action on cancer

Rugby star Chris Henry and Action Cancer Health Promotion Officer, Malachy Nixon, are set to tackle men�"s health in Northern Ireland over the charity�"s Action Man Campaign in June.  As part of campaign, which aims to raise awareness of men�"s general health and of male specific cancers such as testicular and prostate cancer, Action Cancer is offering 700 free M.O.T. health checks for men across Northern Ireland. ''To find out more or to book an M.O.T. health check appointment visit www.actioncancer.org or call 028 9080 3344.

Rugby star Chris Henry and Action Cancer Health Promotion Officer, Malachy Nixon, are set to tackle men�"s health in Northern Ireland over the charity�"s Action Man Campaign in June. As part of campaign, which aims to raise awareness of men�"s general health and of male specific cancers such as testicular and prostate cancer, Action Cancer is offering 700 free M.O.T. health checks for men across Northern Ireland. ''To find out more or to book an M.O.T. health check appointment visit www.actioncancer.org or call 028 9080 3344.

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Every year in the East Antrim area, 463 men are diagnosed with and 200 men die from cancer, according to the Action Cancer charity,

Of these, there were 43 deaths from the disease in Larne; 53, in Carrick and 104, in Newtownabbey.

A total of 110 men were diagnosed with cancer in Larne; 128, in Carrick and 255, in Newtownabbey.

As part of its male cancer awareness campaign, ‘Action Man’, the charity is offering 700 free MOT health checks for men across Northern Ireland, next month.

The 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.

Malachy Nixon, Action Cancer’s male health promotion officer, said: “Every year, in Northern Ireland, there are approximately 4,000 men diagnosed with cancer - that’s 11 men every day. Although men are 16 per cent more likely to develop cancer than women, they are 40 per cent 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 MOT 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.

The charity has stressed that these checks do not diagnose cancer but aim to increase awareness of our current health and the importance of early detection. In June, the MOT health checks will be available from Action Cancer House, Belfast, at regional men’s health clinics, including Ballymena, and onboard the Action Cancer Big Bus.

Rugby player 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.”

Last year, as part of the charity’s commitment to men’s health, Action Cancer developed the ‘Action Man’ programme that helps workplaces support the health and well-being of their male employees. Each employee will benefit from an initial MOT 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.

A second check at will measure any change and gauge the progress made.

To book an MOT health check at Action Cancer House, Belfast (available every Thursday in June) or onboard the Big Bus, visit www.actioncancer.org or call Action Cancer on 028 9080 3344.

The regional men’s health clinics, including Ballymena, on June 25, operate on a drop-in basis. Appointments cannot be booked.