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Burton's Pirelli Stadium hosts prostate screening event for members of the Derbyshire Freemasons

The event at the home of the Brewers was organised by Inspire Health - Fighting Prostate Cancer

Members of the Freemasons from across Derbyshire flocked to the Pirelli Stadium, home of Burton Albion Football Club to receive free checks for prostate cancer.

The event was organised by Inspire Health – Fighting Prostate Cancer, a group led by Jyoti Shah, a consultant urological surgeon at Queen's Hospital, in Burton.

The campaign aims to get more men checked for signs of the cancer which is now rated as the most common among men, with the event held on Thursday, November 9. More sessions will be held on, Friday, November 10.

The Freemasons, who have nearly 2,850 members across Derbyshire, have now signed up to be part of the scheme, which will see screenings held across the next three months for their members.

Michael Hitchcock is the grand charity steward at Derbyshire Freemasons and was overseeing events at the Pirelli Stadium, on Princess Way in Burton.

Mr Hitchcock said that despite Inspire Health not asking for payment for the services, the Freemasons of Derbyshire will be donating £4,000 to the cause.

He explained that despite all members of the Freemasons being given the option of having a screening, he expects the younger members to not take advantage, as the condition is less common for those under the age of 40.

He said: "Not everyone will come, others might rather go to their GP for it, but we offer it free of charge. And the beauty about this event is it's not just the blood test, it's also a physical examination so it's more accurate.

Prostate Screening at the Pirelli Stadium Picture, from the left Jon Widdowson, Deb Price, Sarah Minns, Michael Hitchcock, Jyoti Shah and Rob Slater

"That's why we wanted to go down this route, and I've seen other groups doing similar so I thought how can we get started? I asked one of the members who lives in Burton if he knew anybody in the area who knows anyone who does prostate screening.

"Straight away he pointed me to Burton hospital, who said they were only looking for donations, not a charge, so we signed up and decided to donate £4,000, from the Freemasons."

Jyoti Shah, who is not only the founder of Inspire Health, but was also one of the professionals helping to deliver the tests on the day, has explained how important it is for men to get checked if they spot any symptoms.

She said: "We know that prostate cancer is now the most common cancer in men in this country, but there is a general lack of awareness of that fact. But men in general don’t present when they have symptoms.

"So almost two years ago, we started working here with Burton Albion Community Trust and the football club in raising awareness of prostate cancer, we know that men don't like to come with any symptoms, but they certainly don't like to go to medics, whether that's in primary care or to us in hospitals.

"So, we thought we'd come out to them in an environment where they are comfortable and certainly feel it is less threatening for them, hence the relationship we have here with the football club.

"We started off with our first awareness match almost two years ago now, and on the back of that we started doing pop-up screening clinics like this one here, where we see men over the age of 50 come and have their full history taken, an examination of the prostate and their blood test."

Anybody looking for more information about upcoming screening events can visit the dedicated website online at https://fightingprostatecancer.co.uk/ .

Did you know?

Tomatoes and vegetables in the broccoli and cauliflower family help to protect the prostate

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. About one in eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

Prostate cancer often grows slowly and has a low risk of spreading, so it may never cause you any symptoms or problems in your lifetime. In other words, it is often not life threatening. Because of this, slow-growing prostate cancer might not need to be treated, but monitored instead.

Who is at risk?

There are several things that may mean you are more likely to get prostate cancer.

Age - Prostate cancer mainly affects men over the age of 50 and your risk increases as you get older.

The average age for men to be diagnosed is between 70 and 74 years. If you are under 50 then your risk of getting prostate cancer is very low. Men under 50 can get it, but it isn't common.

Family history - You are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has been diagnosed with it, compared to a man who has no relatives with prostate cancer.

Ethnicity – Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than men of ethnic backgrounds. The reasons for this are not yet clear but might be linked to genes. In the UK, about one in four black men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

Lifestyle – No-one knows how to prevent prostate cancer, but a healthy diet and lifestyle may be important in protecting against it.

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