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CANCER SCREENINGS: Study finds shocking number of us put off getting routine cancer checkups


Former football player and manager, Alan Stubbs, is urging young men and women to attend their routine cancer screenings following data which suggests many of us put off getting check ups regularly. 

Alan Stubbs survived cancer on two occasions during his playing career. Stubbs played at the top level in England & Scotland for Bolton, Celtic, Everton, Sunderland & Derby. He later managed Hibernian, Rotherham & St Mirren. Ahead of the Premier League season we are being encouraged not to put our health down to luck. Bupa Doctor provides insight into new research which shows people ignoring health concerns

Alan Stubbs was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the height of his playing career. In 1999 while playing for Celtic and at just 28, he was one of the players named to be given a random drugs test after losing in the Scottish Cup Final to Rangers.

If Stubbs was upset after the 1-0 defeat to Celtic’s Old Firm rivals, he was about to discover that life can sometimes make you realise that football is only a game.

Further tests in 2001 revealed a tumour at the base of his spine which was removed with surgery. Stubbs credits football with “saving his life”.

It comes as new research from Bupa Health Clinics has found 28% admit they generally put off doing something about health issues, rising to 38% amongst 16-34-year-olds and 16% are unlikely to go to the doctor even when they suspect something is wrong. A further 18% would rather search their symptoms online.

In fact, 66% hope it will go away by itself with 42% putting off a visit to the doctor as they fear bad news with 11% missing or delaying a cancer screening appointment on purpose with embarrassment (23%), past bad experiences (21%), fear of the outcome (20%), anxiety (20%) and working hours being the reason why.

The global pandemic hasn’t helped people’s confidence either with 26% admitting they’re less likely to see a doctor after the last 17 months. For those who have wanted to see a doctor, 12% of UK adults have had a cancer screening appointment delayed or cancelled during the pandemic rising to 20% for 25-34-year-olds.

The findings showed that those who do go to their appointment find it a positive experience and 23% have encouraged a friend or family member to go get a screening after experiencing one themselves with women (29%) more likely to encourage their friends and family compared to men (18%)

Stubbs was lucky, he played for a further 9 years winning all three domestic trophies with Celtic before getting a dream move to his boyhood club Everton. He would later become the first Hibernian Manager to win the Scottish Cup in 114 years but now Stubbs is urging us not to leave our health down to luck.

Alan Stubbs is using his personal experience of living with and surviving cancer to encourage us not to put off cancer screenings and not to leave our health down to luck.

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