The high risk of cancer in men is being highlighted by Bury Football Club in order to raise awareness of the illness.
The League One side are working with NHS Bury Community Action to Promote Early Detection of cancer (CAPED) to support the Blue September campaign, which aims to encourage men to face up to the threat of cancer by painting their faces blue.
The initiative, which will donate its proceeds to the Urology Foundation to fund their research into prostate cancer and bladder cancer among others, returns after being launched last year.
Blue September is intended as a fun way of delivering a serious message to men in the UK about the threat of cancer and Bury FC and NHS Bury CAPED, with support from Bury Council, are helping to spread the word in the suburban town.
Brian Fenton, chairman of Bury FC, said: “Male cancers affect thousands of people across the UK every single day and I’m proud that Bury Football Club can support Blue September and help save men’s lives.”
Every year 81,000 men die in the UK from cancer while 251 died in Bury alone in 2010 – men are also 40 percent more likely to die from cancer than women.
The leader of Bury Council, Councillor Mike Connolly, said: “Too many men ignore health problems and never go to their doctor. I hope the campaign will help to change attitudes and ultimately save lives.”
Blue September are particularly keen for men to respond early to possible cancer symptoms and seek precautionary medical advice.
For example, nine out of ten people diagnosed with bowel cancer will survive if their case is detected early.
Dr Peter Elton, Director of Public Health NHS Bury, said: “One in three of us will develop cancer. It is vital that men know the early signs and symptoms and then go to their doctor straight away.”
Last week the Bury CAPED team visited Gigg Lane to give the club’s players, staff and chairman, as well as Councillor Connolly, a tour of an inflatable bowel to educate them about the risk of bowel cancer.
They will return to the stadium tomorrow for Bury’s match with Preston to offer free information to fans and further raise awareness of the early signs of cancer.
Merseyside football clubs Liverpool and Everton are also backing the campaign along with Wigan Warriors’ captain Sean O’Loughlin, while Blue September UK has sister projects in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland.
Please visit here to see more of what the UK is doing to get behind Blue September.
You too can support the cause through events and donations on the website.