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Prostate Cancer UK Teams Up with Female TV Stars

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Prostate Cancer UK Teams Up with Female TV Stars

In a first for a men’s health charity, Prostate Cancer UK has teamed up with three female celebrities ahead of Father’s Day to discuss the impact the disease has had on their lives and to raise funds for lifesaving research into the most common cancer in men.

Broadcaster Jenny Powell, Coronation Street favourite Katie McGlynn and Love Islander and model Arabella Chi all share their experiences of losing fathers and grandfathers to prostate cancer in new film seriesThe Sit Down. The women recount heart-breaking stories and messages of hope for all those with lives and relationships affected by the most common cancer in men, each delivering their personalOde to Dads as Prostate Cancer UK’s Father’s Day campaign launches across TV, radio and social media this week.

Over 11,500 men die from prostate cancer each year, with over 30 men estimated to die this Father’s Day alone. Jenny Powell, who lost her father in July last year, now joins the thousands of daughters across the UK facing their first Father’s Day without their dad.

“It’s coming up to Father’s Day, which is a tricky one for me personally because it’s the first one (since dad passed away)” Jenny says in The Sit Down.”I’m going to light a candle. I’m going to talk about him a lot and I’ll do Father’s Day this time around. He is all around to share it with me in one way or another.”

Discussing difficult”firsts” without a father figure,Katie McGlynn opens up to Jenny and Arabella about her grandad Denis, who died just weeks before her first successful audition for a major TV role where she landed the part of Sinead Tinker in Coronation Street.

“When I was younger, I was very close to my grandad. He took me to drama class when I was about eight… He got diagnosed with prostate cancer and everything was awful. He passed away and…within a couple of weeks I had an audition for Coronation Street, and I’d never had one before.”

Love Island’s Arabella Chi has a family experience of how early diagnosis can lead to life-changing results. Her dad Paul was diagnosed in his mid-60s and by being open about his concerns, he not only received effective surgery to remove his prostate, but also exposed a hereditary link to his brother Rick, saving Rick’s life.

“My dad had symptoms… but by my dad having it, it meant my uncle had the test. My dad is 73 now and my uncle is 79, if my dad hadn’t had his prostate out and he hadn’t survived, he wouldn’t have seen my career progress.”

More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. But these cases can often be treated successfully if caught early enough. With films likeThe Sit Down, Prostate Cancer UK aims to raise awareness of the disease and vital funds for lifesaving research to help diagnose prostate cancer earlier.

Discussing all the things they loved about their fathers and grandfathers, Jenny describes her dad as”a flirt” and “lover of life” whilst Katie reminisces about her grandad reminding her of Einstein” as”he was just bonkers but in a good way, everybody loved him.” In celebrating their memories, both women share their Ode to Dads ahead of Father’s Day, reminding us all of the little things we love about dads and what we miss when they are not here.

In the final minutes of the edition, Jenny, Katie and Arabella discuss a gender imbalance in medical checks and screenings, calling on women to help support the men in their lives to look after their health.

“We’ve all got men in our lives and we’re all so in tune to ‘check your breasts,’ ‘cervical screenings.’…Men don’t have that.”Arabella says. Katie adds:”I just feel like if we had a test that would make them go and the women in their life would make them go. That’s why I’m happy we’re here today to kind of represent the women who are affected by it. We don’t have prostates, but we’re still affected.”

There is no single test to diagnose prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer UK supports the development of a screening programme for the disease to help catch all men’s disease early and accurately, and give them the best chance of a cure.

Laura Kerby, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK:

“Father’s Day is a moment to reflect on the men who have shaped our lives, whether in celebration or remembrance. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in dads and will take 30 men from us this Father’s Day alone. But we have the power to change this. Prostate cancer can often be cured if it’s caught early enough, and with the development of an effective screening programme that could accurately test and diagnose men earlier, we could save thousands of lives each year. But we need the science to help us get there and the funding for this vital research. We believe in a future where men’s lives are not limited by prostate cancer. Men, we are with you.”

The Sit Downseries also features Star Wars actor Andy Secombe, who lost his father – the legendary entertainer Sir Harry Secombe – to prostate cancer. Broadcaster and politician Dr David Bull, stand-up comedian Fred MacAulay, and television property expert Kunle Barker also open up about their fathers’ experience of the disease. Another former Coronation Street star Ken Morley and legendary The Who and Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones also discuss their own prostate cancer journeys in another episode of the Sit Down.

Jenny, Katie and Arabella feature in the first episode of The Sit Down series, all episodes of which are now available online at:https://prostatecanceruk.org/thesitdown

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