Talk about health worries to tackle cancer, couple urge

Christopher Herd, who has recovered from prostate cancer.
Christopher Herd, who has recovered from prostate cancer.

Just six months before Chris and Jean Herd’s wedding, a hospital consultant delivered some devastating news.

Chris, aged 59, was diagnosed with prostate cancer - and the couple took the decision to delay surgery until after they had tied the knot.

“We carried on like normal, determined to have our special day, and it was lovely,” said Jean.

“The funny thing is that Chris felt fine and you would never believe that he had cancer just by looking at him - it was all very surreal.”

Seven years on, Chris - a printer from Owlthorpe - is fully recovered, and for the past month the couple have supported the Movember campaign to raise awareness of conditions such as testicular and prostate cancer.

Jean, who trains police call handlers, said other women should be more aware of male cancer’s early warning signs.

“Chris had no symptoms other than going to the loo in the night more often than usual,” she said.

“He was 52 and his GP was reluctant to give him the test, saying he was too young and had no other symptoms. But Chris managed to convince him. The word ‘cancer’ never dawned on me.”

The dad underwent brachytherapy, a form of radiotherapy, which proved successful.

“Men don’t talk about their health, and I think anything that can get them discussing these things is fantastic,” said Jean.

During ‘Movember’, men are encouraged to grow moustaches and raise sponsorship. Around Sheffield, workers at Owlerton Stadium, property firm Knight Frank and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals have got involved.