posted on 12 December 2011

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have pledged their support to fight testicular cancer and this week are encouraging young men across the region to ‘man up’ and regularly check themselves for any signs of the disease.

Wildcats forward Andy Raleigh and former Leeds Rhino Keith Senior star in a video to raise awareness of the charity

As part of National Youth Against Cancer Week (12 – 18 December) and in collaboration with the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust’s (LCYCT) campaign ‘Gonads! – it’s not just b#*?@cks…it’s a serious message’, the club, along with Wildcats forward, Andy Raleigh, are helping to raise awareness of testicular cancer and highlighting that all young men should be regularly checking themselves in the shower for lumps or swellings – potential signs of testicular cancer.

The campaign, which launched this week, supports the LCYCT’s recent venture to raise much-needed funds for research into Germ Cell Tumours (GCT) affecting young people, to help establish the best form of treatment.  GCTs usually affect the testes and ovaries, or gonads as they are collectively referred to.  Although rare, tumours in the gonads are amongst the most common cancer in adolescents.

There is currently a lack of scientific research specifically focussing on GCTs in young people, as medical teams generally focus on children, older adults or specifically men or women. This means treatment for young people is overlooked, poorly understood and often undertaken on wards which aren’t tailored to young patients’ needs.

The research is being led by a team in Leeds and Huddersfield on behalf of the NCRI Testis CSG, the Gynaecological CSG and the Teenage and Young People CSG, and also involves collaborations with laboratories and clinical teams from across the UK, as well as centres and specialists in Europe and USA.

Pam Thornes, Trust Manager at LCYCT, said: “We don’t fully understand how age affects gonad cancer so this research will help ensure that young people with GCTs get the best treatment. However early detection is really important and can save lives, which is why this week we are encouraging young men to make sure that they regularly check themselves for lumps or swellings, which are potential signs of testicular cancer.

“But the campaign isn’t just about men. Although ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose, we want young women to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. These can include; continual pelvic and stomach pain, increased abdominal pain, persistent bloating and difficulty eating and feeling full quickly. They may not be linked to a serious problem but if women have any of these symptoms it’s important to visit your GP to get checked out as soon as possible.”

The LCYCT has created a fun, but serious viral promotional film featuring Rugby Super League players and charity ambassadors, Andy Raleigh and Keith Senior, to highlight the charity’s pioneering funding venture.

Raleigh, who is the Youth Ambassador for the LCYCT, said, “I’ve been involved with the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust for a number of years now and I’m proud to be part of a team that works hard to raise funds for research into cancer in young people. I hope that the film we made will help make people more aware of gonad cancer and therefore pledge their support to the campaign.

“Here at the Wildcats we want to reach out to fans and let them know about the charity and its work and encourage them to support what is a very worthy cause.”

To view the promotional film go to http://www.lauracranetrust.org/gonads.aspx or text GNAD42 2 to 70070 to donate £2 and pledge your support to the campaign.

For more information on testicular and ovarian cancer visit www.lauracranetrust.org

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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