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Tuesday 22 October 2013

League clubs back cancer awareness campaigns

West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion players give support to health schemes

  • Jimmy White (left) together with West Ham's Dylan Tombides (centre) and Mark Bright

  • Singer Peter Andre (left) meets Tombides at the event

  • West Brom's Youssouf Mulumbu raises awareness about bladder and kidney cancer

Premier League clubs have been playing their part in promoting health issues by backing projects that aim to increase cancer awareness.

West Ham United were recently involved in a special event at Westfield Stratford City for the One For The Boys male cancer awareness campaign.

The event gave the opportunity for men between the ages of 18-44 to have a free testicular cancer check and men over 50 years to be given a free prostate examination.

Hammers forward Dylan Tombides, who has received treatment for testicular cancer over the last two years, joined former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright and snooker legend Jimmy White in supporting the event, where medical professionals conducted private examinations and specialist nursing staff from Cancer Research UK gave advice.

"When a football club like West Ham lend their support in whatever way possible to campaigns and awareness programmes like this, it means a lot"
Caroline Geraghty, Cancer Research UK

"It is really important, if you think there is something not right to get this checked out with your doctor," Tombides told the club's website. "It is not embarrassing, it is all done confidentially and having been through treatment, if there is a chance you can prevent the cancer or half the treatment or prevent any other problems by visiting the doctor, to check everything is OK, then it is worth it.

"I think campaigns and events like this are great as it raises the awareness that all it takes is a short visit to the doctor and getting checked out like this isn't as bad as it might seem."

Tombides, part of West Ham’s Under-21 Premier League squad, also spread the word about the work of the club's Community Sports Trust, which has been delivering a men's health programme over the last three years to encourage men to lead more healthier lifestyles and get checked out for cancer.

Caroline Geraghty, a senior cancer information nurse for Cancer Research UK, said the support of a Barclays Premier League football club like West Ham is crucial to campaigns like this.

"Football is watched by millions, especially men, so when a football club like West Ham lend their support in whatever way possible to campaigns and awareness programmes like this, it means a lot and we can get our message out to many more men," she said.

Baggies clear on cancer

West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu said he was "proud" to lend his support to the club’s backing of the Be Clear on Cancer campaign, which launched last week.

The NHS campaign focuses on helping people recognise the symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer, the main one being blood in pee.

In support of the campaign, West Brom will be piloting thermochromic technology in the East Stand's urinals for the home Barclays Premier League match against Crystal Palace on 2 November. Heat reactive material will be installed and, when used, will turn red revealing messaging reminding fans to look out for blood in their pee.

The club will also run Be Clear on Cancer adverts in their matchday programme and on stadium screens while Be Clear on Cancer event staff will hand out symptom reminder cards to fans.

"It's great that the club is supporting this national bladder and kidney cancer campaign,” said Mulumbu. "Hopefully more people will know that if they notice blood in their pee, it's time to visit the doctor."

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