TV presenter Dominic Littlewood has urged people to get checked for possible cancer symptoms – saying he was ‘back on my motorbike and leading an almost normal life’ four days after cancer surgery of the prostate.
The Fake Britain and Cowboy Builders presenter has joined an NHS campaign to raise awareness of urologic and abdominal symptoms which could be signs of cancer.
It comes as a new poll has found a significant number of English adults are unaware of the symptoms of urological and abdominal cancers.
The poll of 2,000 English adults found:
– 30% were unaware that needing to urinate more quickly could be a sign.
– More than a quarter (28%) of people did not know that feeling bloated for three weeks or more could be a symptom.
– Some 25% were unaware that diarrhea for three weeks or more could be a sign.
– More than a third could not identify blood in urine or blood in poo as typical symptoms of bladder and bowel cancer; and
– Some 81% were able to identify discomfort in the belly area that could be a sign of urological or abdominal cancer.
The Help Us Help Yourself campaign urges people to go to their GP to be checked for symptoms of illness.
Littlewood said: “When I was 47 I found out I had prostate cancer, but I was lucky because I caught it early.
“I had surgery on a Monday and by Friday I was out of the hospital and back on my motorbike leading an almost normal life.
“To anyone who is too embarrassed to go to their doctor about potential symptoms, I really urge you to contact your GP.
“Hopefully your symptoms aren’t serious, but if it’s cancer, the earlier it’s caught, the better.”
TV doctors Dr Hilary Jones and Dr Anisha Patel are also backing the campaign.
Chiara De Biase, from Prostate Cancer UK, said: ‘Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, but the pandemic has meant that thousands of men have not come forward for a diagnosis and could miss life-saving treatment.
“It’s great to see that more is being done to raise awareness, but it’s extremely important to remember that most men with early-stage prostate cancer have no symptoms.
“This means you can’t wait for symptoms to develop before taking action, which is why Prostate Cancer UK has developed a 30 second risk checker – it’s designed to help men understand their risk factors and the steps they can take, regardless of the symptoms.”
Dame Cally Palmer, National Cancer Director for NHS England, said: ‘We are very grateful to Dominic Littlewood for supporting our campaign to raise awareness of urological and abdominal cancers – it is so important that people know the symptoms and come forward to check if they are worried.
“Lives are saved when cancers are caught early and as record numbers are referred by GPs for testing, we must continue our push to ensure that anyone with symptoms such as the urgent need to pee, bloating or diarrhea for three weeks or more – get checked out right away, it can save your life.
The charity has urged men to check their risk using its online risk checker at prostatecanceruk.org/riskcheck