A team of medics will be paying more than lip service to a campaign as they help tackle men’s health problems first hand.
Stuart McCracken, consultant urologist at Sunderland Royal Hospital, has rallied round to recruit colleagues to take part in Movember.
The men will grow moustaches throughout the month as they collect sponsorship, which will be used to back more than 1,000 programmes which focus on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health issues and physical inactivity.
But the group also say the annual fundraiser gives the medical staff a chance to spark off conversations with patients about conditions and offer them help and advice which they are sometimes too embarrassed to discuss.
Around a dozen staff have signed up to take part in the hospital’s effort so far.
Stuart said: “I’ve done it for the last three years.
Patients don’t tend to bring it up, but it gives me a way of mentioning it and then they’re quite happy to discuss it from there.Consultant urologist Stuart McCracken
“Patients don’t tend to bring it up, but it gives me a way of mentioning it and then they’re quite happy to discuss it from there.
“In the urology department, we talk to men about prostate problems, cancer, anything to do with the urinary tract, not just cancer.”
In addition to running clinics and offering treatment, Stuart is also helping to lead a study which could help diagnose prostate cancer and bladder cancer earlier.
Up to 300 people will take part in the research, linked to Newcastle University, and will be invited to take tests through its haematuria clinic, which deal with people who have blood in their urine.
Sunderland Royal’s urology department offers patients treatment for incontinence, kidney stones, diagnostic endoscopic examination of bladder, erectile dysfunction, haematuria, keyhole prostate surgery, male infertility, prostate problems, urinary calculus and vasectomies.
While men can take part in growing a moustache, women can also get involved in raising funds and awareness.
More details can be found via uk.movember.com.
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