Like many other people last night, I tuned onto ITV to watch The Real Full Monty, with a group of brave celebrities recreating the famous scene from the hit film The Full Monty, which first became a hit 20 years ago.
The documentary was created to celebrate the films 20th anniversary, but also to raise awareness for mens cancers Prostate Cancer and Testicular Cancer.
I love the film anyway, and the idea behind the recreation is great, but for me it holds such an important message and my family have also been affected by Prostate Cancer.
A few years ago my Dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, we had no idea he had it, and he had no symptoms, it was through something else that this was found. Obviously it was a shock for us all, but on further hospital trips and tests, it was found he had the most aggressive form of Prostate Cancer which had also spread to his lymph nodes. Christmas two years ago was a very emotional time for us all, and my Dad was scared, the first time in my life I saw this in him, and we all silently thought this could be his last christmas with us. At the beginning of January he started an intense course of radiotherapy. Luckily it worked, and he just has check ups every 6 months both with the Prostate team and Lymph team. I have never been so scared in my life but we have been lucky and do have a happy ending.
As the same goes for women, these cancers do not have symptoms and often it can be too late. The sad thing is and something I am very vocal about. With women they are called for mammograms and smears, and any abnormalities can be picked up, but for men there is nothing, and Prostate cancer can be picked up from a simple blood test, or quick examination, and I do believe this should be made standard that men are called for screening also.
When I saw the program being advertised I knew I wanted to watch it for more than one reason, and I sat and laughed and cried at their stories.
So I would like to say a huge well done and thank you to
The program documented the start with Alexander Armstrong and Ashley Banjo meeting and discussing how to get the idea into practice. So they got on their phones and asked famous friends if they would like to take part. We watched as the full horror of what was actually expected of them sink in. We laughed as they practiced, we cried with the stories, and we cheered with the crowds.
I know this is taboo for a lot of men, but please get them to check or ask to be checked, it really is not that bad and can save their lives.