Bill Turnbull’s revelation that he has prostate cancer has led to a flood of celebrities on Twitter urging men to go for a check-up and a huge surge in Google searches around the disease.
In a Radio Times interview with friend and former BBC Breakfast colleague Sian Williams, Turnbull said he discovered he had the illness last November – during filming for The Great British Bake Off’s Stand Up to Cancer special – and that it has spread to his bones.
The interview has sparked a wave of support for Turnbull on Twitter, and many celebrities have been urging men to be aware of the symptoms and go for check-ups.
Jeremy Vine, Dan Walker, Davina McCall and Sophie Haworth were among those to tweet.
Piers Morgan also spoke out about his prostate cancer scare on Good Morning Britain. The presenter was told there was a chance he could have the illness when a blood test came back with high levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) but after further investigation it was established that he did not.
Since Turnbull’s Radio Times interview was published, there has also been a spike in the UK of Google searches around prostate cancer, the symptoms and how to get checked that correlate with increased searches for Turnbull.
Cancer Research UK has noted the positive impact of celebrities going public with their cancer diagnoses and how it can help those dealing with the same experience.
Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK’s head information nurse, said: “It’s incredibly important to talk about prostate cancer.
“Each year about 47,000 men are diagnosed with the disease in the UK. Making it normal to have conversations about prostate cancer will help patients feel more comfortable talking about their experience. This makes it easier for them to cope with treatment and the emotional rollercoaster that can come with a diagnosis.
“Talking about illness can help stop it from becoming a lonely experience. Celebrities who speak out also help raise awareness of the disease and the importance of knowing your body and going to the doctor if you notice any unusual changes.
“Anyone with questions or concerns about prostate cancer can speak to one of Cancer Research UK’s information nurses by calling 0808 800 4040 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.”