Sons and daughters in the West Country wondering what to do to mark Father’s Day this Sunday are being urged to spare a thought for their Dad’s health.
The Big Run for the Future, which raises funds to support prostate cancer treatment and research at the Bristol Urological Institute based at Southmead Hospital, has appealed to people to encourage their Dads to sign up for a health check.
Spokesman David Miller, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer as a fit and healthy 59-year-old and now campaigns on behalf of the charity, is determined to raise awareness about a disease which kills 11,000 men every year.
He said: “Men take more care of their cars than they do their own bodies. The moment the engine starts coughing or spluttering they get the bonnet up and investigate and yet we are notoriously reluctant to get anything done about our own symptoms."
“We would encourage sons and daughters around the South West to get their Dads to book themselves in for a check-up to make sure they are OK. It is vital that prostate cancer is diagnosed early. Signing on for our Run for the Future on the Downs on September 8 could help raise the funds we need to save dozens of lives in Bristol alone."
Prostate cancer claims the lives of 11,000 men every year in the UK with a further 40,000 being diagnosed. The figures are about the same as those for women with breast cancer but prostate cancer has been dubbed “The Silent Killer” because men so rarely talk about their illnesses.
At Southmead Hospital robot technology is used to treat men where it is appropriate.
David Miller said: “A simple PSA blood test can be carried out, and men with a family history of prostate cancer should start this test from the age of 45, and other men from the age of 50 because there are few, if any, symptoms of the cancer. That’s why it is so important for families to support Father’s Day and get Dad to sign up for a test as soon as possible.”
The Big Run for the Future is limited to 7,000 participants so registration has started early.
Although expected to attract some serious runners the event is open to all ages and abilities.
The event is organised by Rotary in Bristol in conjunction with the Bristol Urological Institute.
People can register for this year’s event by going to www.runforthefuture.org.uk .