Bristol barbers pass on cancer message

Posted on Tuesday September 02 2014 09:44 AM

Barbers in Bristol are wearing special T-shirts to get the message over to men aged over 50 years old that they should get their prostate checked out.

The unique T-shirts, featuring a backwards message that customers can read in the mirror while having their hair cut, have been produced as part of the first ever Bristol and District Prostate Cancer Awareness Campaign.

They feature a version of an iconic Sex Pistols album cover from 1977 with the message “Never Mind Your Bald Patch ow’s yer prostate?”

The most at-risk group of men from prostate cancer are the punk generation, who would have been teenagers when the Sex Pistols burst on to the music scene.

Toni Costa and his son Antonio Costa of Toni Barber Shop in North View, Westbury Park said: “One of the few places that men actually chat is in the barber’s chair so it is a good idea to spread the word.

“People ask us about the shirts and we can tell them that there is a simple blood test they can take to check whether they have any sign of prostate cancer. Sadly we all know men who have had prostate cancer.”

Other barbers taking part in the T-shirt campaign include Clippers in St Mark’s Road, Easton; Top Cuts in City Road, St Paul’s and Vincenzos in Gloucester Road and over 100 other shops are displaying posters and encouraging customers to take awareness leaflets.

The awareness campaign, which is backed by Bristol city council, culminates in the annual five kilometre Run For The Future on Bristol Downs on September 14 when hundreds of runners are expected to raise awareness and money for the Bristol Urological Institute.

David Miller, organiser of the awareness campaign said: “We want to get the message out to men over 50 in places where they meet and chat. Each year 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer from which 11,000 will die, statistically that is about the same as the number of women who get breast cancer.

“In a recent survey more than 80% of men over the age of 50 were unaware of the increased risk from prostate cancer.  In its early stages there are often no symptoms and unlike breast cancer there is currently no national screening policy in place.   Most men are uninformed of what and where the prostate is and what tests are available to detect prostate cancer.

“During the campaign there will be a programme of talks, awareness displays, media coverage and distribution of awareness posters and leaflets to barber shops, golf clubs, garages, hairdressers, GP surgeries, pharmacies, Bakers Dolphin coaches, bowls clubs etc, In total over 800 venues.”

During the two week campaign people are also being asked to register to take part in the run by going to www.runforthefuture.org which will raise funds for the Bristol Urological Institute. Non-runners are invited to watch the fun event on The Downs, which will include stalls and entertainment with music from the Barry Walsh Band and The Ambling Band.

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