Raising awareness of men’s health in Tayside

MAIN Raising awareness of men’s health in Tayside - AAA screener Irene Ritchie
AAA screener Irene Ritchie

To support Men’s Health Awareness Month, NHS Tayside is hosting a series of health information stands at Ninewells throughout November to help raise awareness of issues that affect men such as prostate cancer and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA).

Representatives from NHS Tayside and Fife AAA screening team manned an information stand on the concourse earlier this week and were on hand to answer questions about the national screening programme and why it is important to attend for screening appointments.

The national AAA screening programme targets men over the age of 65 and involves a simple painless ultrasound scan that usually lasts 10 minutes.

Men are six times more likely to have this type of aneurysm than women. The chance of an aneurysm increases with age.

NHS Tayside and Fife AAA screening programme manager Audrey Irvine explains why it is important to get checked.

“The screening programme aims to reduce the mortality associated with the risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms which is most common in men over 65,” explained Audrey.

“Screening for AAA involves an ultrasound scan of the abdomen and appointments will usually only takes about 10-15 minutes. The majority of men will have a normal result. Screening invitations are sent out to men who are 65, however men who are over the age of 65 and have never been for AAA screening can request a scan.”

Tomorrow (Thursday) volunteers from Andy’s Man Club (AMC) Dundee will be at the information stand to chat and provide more information about their mental health support group for men.

AMC offers peer support in a safe environment and the group meets every Monday evening.  It operates in many locations in the UK and was set up in the memory of rugby player Andy Roberts who committed suicide in 2016.

Brian of AMC Dundee said, “Andy’s Man Club is passionate about helping other men through difficult times. We want to end the mental health stigma with men suffering in silence. We want to let them know that it’s okay to talk.”

Coming up next week on Thursday, 14 November, Prostate Cancer UK will be providing information about prostate cancer, including the symptoms to look out for, how the disease is diagnosed and how it may be treated.  An oncology nurse will be delivering short informal talks on the subject lasting approximately 15-20 minutes. The talks will take place in Seminar Room C on level 7 starting at 11am, 11.30am and noon. There is no need to book, just turn up on the day at your preferred time.

MAIN Raising awareness of men’s health in Tayside - Jodie Moodie
Jodi Moodie

In addition, throughout November, The Health Shop at Ninewells Hospital is encouraging everyone to help promote men’s health. The shop has lots of information leaflets on topics such as mental health, alcohol and male cancers and visitors are invited to stop by and pick up a health information leaflet.

Health Shop manager Jodi Moodie said, “In Dundee, women typically outlive their male counterparts by five and a half years.

“Men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women and as prostate cancer affects about 1 in 8 men in the UK there is a need to highlight these issues to everyone, not just to men.

“The Health Shop is a free health promotion and disease management resource unit. We believe in helping people to make informed decisions about their health and that includes signposting to services offering support, specialist advice and treatment.

“Prostate Cancer UK, Andy’s Man Club and the AAA Screening team are excellent examples of the range of services available which can help men to live healthier lives for longer.”

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