'˜Pink Panthers' encourage local men to '˜be aware and get checked out!'

The Pink Panthers have relaunched community services with an event in the area where the cancer support group was set up.

Friday, 30th November 2018, 8:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 3:32 am
Group pictured at the recent relaunch of the Pink Panthers Cancer Community Services, at Ballymagrotary Community Centre, to coincide with Movember male cancer awareness month. Included in the photograph are Maureen Collins, manager, Pink Ladies, Margaret Cunningham, facilitator, Pink Ladies, James Nash, chairman, Pink Panthers and Jacquie Loughrey, Co-chairperson, Pink Ladies. DER4818GS003

The Pink Panthers, which began five years ago in Ballymagroarty, returned to the local community centre earlier this week for the re-launch.

The event coincides with the end of ‘Movember,’ Male Cancer Awareness Month.

The men took part in a light exercise session and enjoyed a healthy lunch, topped off with a slice of cake to celebrate the occassion. There was also information on male cancers and advice on reducing the risk.

James Nash, co-chairperson of the Pink Panthers, said it was important men knew their body. “It is important to take these services as far and as wide as possible. If the information we share at events like this makes a man go to the doctor to get something checked out, when he normally wouldn’t, it’s worth it,” he said.

Billy Page, chair of the Outer West Health Group, said the relaunch of the services would help get information about male cancer out there in the community. “Men can come in here at any time to get the information about male cancer and if they have any symptoms at all, can be advised to attend a doctor. We want to get the message out to young men as well who come in here for the youth club so we can be pro-active about health issues in the area.”

Maureen Collins, of the Pink Ladies/Pink Panthers, explained what services are available: “Our community services offer support to men, women and families, as a cancer diagnosis affects the family as a whole. Alongside the support, we want to raise awareness of things that can reduce the risk of cancer. Things like exercise, diet and the risk of alcohol and smoking. Thanks to lottery funding we are also able to focus on the impact of the environment.”

This project is is run by co-chair Jacqui Loughery who is working with the Panthers to encourage them to change the skin products they use and to switch to organic food.

“A lot of our members would have allotments and we are encouraging them to grow food without the use of pesticides. We also did an experiment with some of the Panthers who had developed Eczema and Dermatitis as a result of Chemotherapy. They switched to non-petroleum products for their skin and the results were clear for them to see. It was really well received by them.”

Pink Panthers, who have been participating in ‘Movember’ by growing beards and moustaches, will end the month with a well-deserved shave later today, thanks to the Derry Barber Company.

For more information about Pink Panthers and their services contact 02871414004.