New waste collection lorry carries prostate cancer awareness message

South Kesteven District Council’s latest addition to its fleet was unveiled on Tuesday (9 July) to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

Prominent health adverts on each side of the eye-catching blue vehicle highlight the fact that one in eight men will suffer from prostate cancer. Latest figures suggest that 144 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every day.

The lorry carries the Prostate Cancer UK 30-second risk check message that can save lives, along with a link to the charity website for more information.

It’s a colourful demonstration of the Council’s continuing commitment to promoting health awareness and will operate alongside its bright pink freighter launched last year to spread awareness of breast cancer.

The risk of prostate cancer made headlines this year following King Charles III’s treatment for an enlarged prostate, prompting a surge in checks for the condition.

Cllr Paul Wood, who represents the Viking ward on SKDC, discovered that he had prostate cancer through a routine PSA test - despite having no symptoms.

An MRI scan showed there was a 50% chance he had prostate cancer and a subsequent biopsy confirmed that he did.

Cllr Wood said: “I chose surgery to remove the prostate, had the operation in June 2023 and further tests confirmed that the cancer had not spread beyond the prostate.

“I was very lucky, and I would encourage every man to take the risk of prostate cancer seriously, even if they have no symptoms.”

Cllr Ashley Baxter, Leader of SKDC, said: “We are proud to be using a refuse freighter to deliver a vitally important new health message across the district. Our new freighter is eye-catching, not least for its colour but for the information which can literally save lives.”

Alastair Hawken from Grantham Gingerbread donated special ‘gingerbread men’, their shape symbolic of the Prostate Cancer UK icon used prominently on the lorry and repeating his generosity in supporting last year’s pink freighter launch.

The launch was attended by one of Prostate Cancer UK’s representatives, Robert Oldroyd, to share his own experiences of cancer diagnosed 20 years ago despite a lack of symptoms.  His radical prostatectomy was completely effective, and he has since helped to found a support group, is a telephoner volunteer for the charity and contributes to research projects

“Prostate cancer is a lethal thing if not diagnosed but there is a reluctance among men to discuss it.

“That’s why this campaign is so good.  It’s a brilliant idea and I thank the council for what they have done. I would urge every man in South Kesteven to read the message and act on it.”

Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Laura Kerby said: “We’re so grateful for the brilliant support of South Kesteven District Council raising vital risk awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.

“This brilliantly-branded truck puts us and our messaging at the heart of the local community and could be a gamechanger for those men and their loved ones affected by prostate cancer - a disease which affects 1 in 8 men in the UK.

“An early diagnosis can save your life, so it is vital that men know their risk. Men are at higher risk if they are over 50, Black or have a father or brother who has had prostate cancer. Anyone with concerns should visit the charity’s online risk checker.

“This innovative incentive will help drive home the dangers of this disease and help us save and enrich the lives of men with prostate cancer. We can’t thank everyone involved enough.”

Jaspal Phull, Urology consultant at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and Clinical Director for Surgery, said: “Understanding whether you may have prostate cancer starts with a discussion and in most cases a simple blood test. Some men will need specialist testing to see whether they have early prostate cancer.

“In the UK 144 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every day. Age, ethnicity and family history play a significant part in this. Learn more about your prostate and beat this treatable cancer with early risk assessment and blood test detection.”

Mr Phull also supplied a short film explaining symptoms and treatments;

Jim Pollard of the Men’s Health Forum said: "We know that one white man in eight and one black man in four will get prostate cancer so anything that raises awareness is to be welcomed. This initiative is a big bold blue way to do it. Congratulations to South Kesteven Council. 

"It’s a timely intervention as, following the King’s frankness about his prostate issues, this year’s Men’s Health Week had a focus on prostates.

“The Forum has partnered with Prostate Cancer UK and Black Cancer Care to produce a new booklet P For Prostate to provide an easy introduction to a subject that men need to know more about. Our message to men is: Don’t procrastinate. Know your prostate.”

Council lorry supplier Dennis Eagle has supported the initiative with a blue paint finish on a freighter already on order for the fleet and a time lapse video (insert link) to record its manufacture. The new vehicle was already scheduled for delivery, so there was no extra cost to the council for either the lorry or the blue paintwork.

Prostate Cancer UK online risk checker -


Prostate Cancer UK; facts and figures 2023

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
  • More than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year on average – that's 144 men every day.
  • Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 12,000 men every year.
  • 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Around 490,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

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