August 18, 2008

Star Heads Bid to Help Men Tackle Their Health

WELSH rugby captain Ryan Jones is fronting a new men's health campaign.

Today, he will lead a Health Challenge Wales initiative to raise awareness of testic-ular cancer among young men.

Hundreds of shower cards and posters will be placed in changing rooms throughout Wales to highlight the issue of testicular cancer and underline the importance of early detection.

Ryan was more than happy to provide a helping hand to the campaign and hopes it will dispel the embarrassment that often surrounds the subject and encourage men to examine themselves.

"When it comes to testicular cancer our health is quite literally 'in our hands'," he said.

"There's a very high success rate of treatment for testicular cancer if it's caught early enough. Self-examination is crucial and I hope that these shower cards and posters will help remind men to have a quick check after a game, work out or shower. It could save their life."

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men aged 15-44 and despite being quite rare, the incidence of testicular cancer has more than doubled since 1975. Around 100 new cases are now detected every year in Wales. But testicular cancer is 99 per cent curable if caught early, and the overall cure rate is more than 95 per cent.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Tony Jewel said the importance of early detection could not be over-emphasised.

He said: "Testicular cancer does not have to kill. It can be treated if caught in time.

"With 100 men being diagnosed every year with this form of cancer it's clear that there is a great deal more that we can do to remind young men to regularly examine themselves."

He added: "By circulating posters and shower cards throughout leisure centres and sporting organisations in Wales we hope to raise awareness of this important issue."

The waterproof shower cards and posters are to be distributed to governing bodies and leisure centres to remind young men to "check their balls".

Those wishing to receive copies of either the shower cards or poster should contact Health Challenge Wales on 02920 825935.

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