The following blog has been written by Janet Daykin.
Getting back to some kind of normal?
I’ve been getting out and about raising awareness of prostate cancer – how it affects men and their families – for around ten years now.
In 2010 I lost my husband to the disease and knowing early diagnosis is crucial to good outcomes I started to volunteer with Prostate Cancer UK. Improvements in treatment over the years now mean far more men are living with and after prostate cancer, rather than dying from it. But we need to catch these men early.
Over the years I have visited workplaces, shopping centres, sports events and really anywhere I was invited to. I gave talks and ran awareness stands giving information to hundreds, if not thousands, of men and their families each year. Often I talked to partners who would make sure the man in their life got himself tested if he was at risk.
Then came the pandemic and with lockdown all face to face events stopped immediately. We are now talking about ‘missing men’. These are the men that didn’t get diagnosed or treated once the pandemic struck.
So what did we do next …
Our group of Yorkshire volunteers couldn’t do what we had always done, so we did what we could. Some of us started to meet monthly on zoom and took to online challenges – walks and runs, in some cases around the house. One of us (not me) took up the naked gardening challenge! Although mainly used to raise funds for support and research we promoted these events on social media and raised much-needed awareness too.
We launched virtual talks without too many expectations. Our thoughts were that they would be ‘good enough’ and the ‘best we could do’ until we were ‘back to normal’. We were so happy to find they were successful and drew big audiences. Often they were recorded and spread around intranets and websites.
Now we are tentatively getting back out and about – risk assessing each event – and it is lovely to see people again. So long as men are at risk of not being diagnosed we will be there.
Now outdoor events are becoming real if you see us please come and have a chat. You never know you might find you have saved a life or kept a family from being torn apart by a late diagnosis of prostate cancer.
We are always happy to become involved in partnership work and, over the years, we have teamed up with Leeds Cancer Awareness Project in order to complement and enhance the work of both projects. We are pleased to hear that LCAP are about to start a focused prostate cancer campaign in the Chapeltown and Harehills areas of Leeds and we are looking forward to supporting this work in any way we can.
Thank you to our guest blogger, Janet Daykin for writing this blog.
The content of this blog has been written by Janet Daykin and is representative of their views not the views of Leeds Cancer Awareness. If you would like to reproduce any aspect of this blog please seek the permission of the blog author.
For more information, to book a talk or find support please visit, Prostate Cancer UK.
To check your own risk, or that of a loved one, use the Prostate Cancer UK risk checker, Prostate cancer: Know your risk in 30 seconds, Prostate Cancer UK risk checker.
To view other Leeds Cancer Awareness blogs visit, Leeds Cancer.