Adam Gretton, Health correspondent
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Cancer experts at a Norfolk hospital and former patients have joined forces to launch a new cancer support organisation in the county.
It’s On The Ball was officially launched at the weekend, which aims to raise awareness of testicular cancer and improve the level of support for patients following diagnosis.
The new charity was the brainchild of Susanna Alexander, consultant oncologist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, who along with oncology specialist nurse Lisa Holland helped get patients together to establish the new support group.
The launch event at a glitzy bash at Sprowston Manor on Saturday night, which was attended by former Norwich City player Dion Dublin, raised more than £7,000 for the organisation.
The group, which has ten trustees, aims to improve awareness levels and to encourage men to spot the signs of testicular cancer. Newly diagnosed patients at the NNUH will also be given the option of talking to a member of the group who has gone through a similar experience.
Officials are also in the process of applying for charitable status.
Ian Mundford, treasurer, who received a course of chemotherapy following testicular cancer diagnosis in December 2009, said they hoped to expand the group to other parts of East Anglia in the future. He added that he would have liked to have an informal chat with a patient when he was going through treatment.
“There is support out there and there are some national men’s health charities, but there is not a lot out there for testicular cancer patients and it particularly affects young men between 20 and 40-years-old. We felt that there were opportunities to work with the nurses at the hospital and put them in touch with us. The people at the hospital are doing a brilliant job, but there is nothing on an informal basis. There is nothing like us out there in this region.”
“It is a really good cause and it is something we hope to grow over the next three years to grow into neighbouring areas. We are looking to grow into Suffolk and Cambridgeshire,” he said.
The group will be staging a number of events in Norfolk over the coming months to raise their profile and increase awareness of testicular cancer.
For more information, call 01603 288115, email email@example.com or visit the website at www.itsontheball.org
Spotting the signs of testicular cancer. Symptoms include:
• A lump within the testicle that may or may not be painful
• An ache or dragging sensation within the scrotum
• Swelling of the testicle
• Some men may find they experience back pain or breast swelling or tenderness.
• If you experience any of these it is advisable to contact your GP immediately.