The Health Experts

“GPs are ready and waiting to help you. You’re not wasting anyone’s time.”

Nigel Watson

Dr Nigel Watson MBE MBBS FRCGP is one of the Primary Care Leads for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on the Wessex Cancer Alliance Board.

“The earlier cancer is identified, the better chance there is of beating it.

The NHS long term plan ambitions for cancer are that by 2028, 55,000 people each year will survive their cancer for at least five years after diagnosis, and that by 2028 the proportion of cancers diagnosed at stage one and stage two will raise from just over half now to three quarters of cancer patients. This means there is a huge emphasis on early detection and prevention.

We know that men are presenting later and so the ActionMan campaign is hugely important in terms of raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of common male cancers and encouraging men to get in touch with their GP if they have any concerns.”

Sally Rickard

Sally Rickard, Managing Director of the Wessex Cancer Alliance:

“This is a really important campaign to help encourage men to seek the advice they need for any worrying symptoms that could be a sign of cancer. We know that 9 times out of 10, it won’t be cancer but it is so much better to know that for sure and if you do need treatment, then catching the cancer early will lead to better outcomes. There are several ways you can also help to prevent cancer, such as taking part in bowel screening or asking for a PSA test if you are worried about prostate cancer. The NHS is here to see you safely and no one is wasting our time; it is what we are here to do and so please help us to help you.

Our GPs across Wessex have all reported a drop in the number of people they are seeing with suspected cancer, this is concerning for them and us and so our message to you is simple: If you have a symptom that you are worried about, please contact your GP immediately. They are ready and waiting to help you. If it is cancer then getting that diagnosis early could be the key to better treatment options as well.”


Matt Hayes

Matt Hayes, Medical Director of Wessex Cancer Alliance

“One thing Covid-19 has taught us is that we all need to take our health seriously. It might sound like a cliche, but life is absolutely not a rehearsal. If you are concerned about any aspect of your health, please don’t ignore it. Let you GP know. Most cancers are completely curable if they are caught early enough, so it really makes a difference if you get checked out quickly rather than hoping it will go away by itself. So do the right thing. You know you’re worth it!”

For more information about the Wessex Cancer Alliance and its work click here.

Dr Jane McLeod, Arnewood Medical Centre, New Milton

“Please don’t feel embarrassed about seeing a healthcare professional if you’re worried about something that’s changed in your body. If it’s nothing of concern, we can quickly reassure you. If it’s something more serious, like cancer, the earlier it’s caught, the more likely it is that it can be cured. In my experience as a GP, men often seem more reluctant to see us with concerns, which can lead to a delayed diagnosis of serious illnesses.”

Dr Joe Shimbert

Helen Burch, Practice Manager, and Dr Joe Shimbart, Development Lead and GP partner, Lake Road Practice, part of Island City Network in Portsmouth (also including John Pounds, Sunnyside and Derby Road practices)

“We have always been and remain ‘open for business’ for anything non-Covid related, especially when it comes to symptoms that need to be addressed sooner rather than later. We are especially delighted to support this very important campaign about encouraging men to seek GP advice with any worrying symptom they find. The outcome statistics for men and cancer in general are troubling so anything that help improve these is most welcome. Nowhere near every symptom means it is cancer but we need to be made aware of every symptom to identify those that are cancer, the earlier the better. Please call/contact all practices in Portsmouth and let us all help not just you but at the same time your family and friends.

There has been a drop in the number of people we are seeing which is very concerning so our message is simple: if you have a symptom that you are worried about, please contact your GP immediately, they are ready and waiting to help you. If it is cancer then getting that diagnosis early, could be the key to better treatment options as well.”