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Help me get cancer message through to men

PUBLISHED: 18:12 24 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:31 01 July 2010

Mel Lacey

Mel Lacey

Peter Walsh

A man who vowed to set up a male cancer charity after surviving the disease himself has pledged to talk to women about his own experience - to help get the message through to men.

A man who vowed to set up a male cancer charity after surviving the disease himself has pledged to talk to women about his own experience - to help get the message through to men.

Former Norfolk police officer Mel Lacey was inspired to launch a Blue Ribbon Foundation for men to emulate the work the Pink Ribbon Foundation has done for women in their battle against cancer.

Late in 2008, Mr Lacey's world was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The father of two and grandfather of one, who lives in Norwich, was referred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where the cancer was diagnosed and treated.

He was told he needed to raise at least £5,000 to get the charity started and in April organised a charity concert at the University of East Anglia which helped reach that total.

Mr Lacey, who next month hopes to register the charity with a view to launching it officially in the autumn, says he now wants to get the message through to men, by talking to women's groups - and getting them to speak to their husbands and partners.

He said: “One of my objectives is to wake men up to the risks and dangers that prostate cancer causes, and quite often blokes seem to bury their heads in the sand and it is women that give them a kick up the backside to get it sorted.

“With that in mind, I will offer myself up to any Women's Institutes or groups who would like me to visit them and talk about prostate cancer, what it's all about and what they should be looking out for and wake them up to the dangers.”

Mr Lacey said that although his approach might be unconventional, it was another way of trying to get the message across to men about cancer and the danger signs.

He said: “There are 30,000 men diagnosed every year with prostate cancer and 10,000 die.

“Many of those 10,000 deaths could be avoided, and if I can find another way of getting to men to wake up to the risks, they might catch it early and if it's caught early then lives can be saved.”

Mr Lacey said the talks would be free of charge, although he would kindly welcome donations to the charity.

Women's groups, or any other group, interested in booking Mr Lacey for a talk about cancer should contact him by emailing mel.lacey@talktalk.net or calling him on 07776901442.

Are you raising money in memory of a loved one or friend? Call Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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