Action Cancer increases Big Bus health checks for Ballymoney

Local charity Action Cancer has launched a new package of MOT health checks for anyone over 16 years old in Ballymoney using its Big Bus mobile unit, to help highlight risk factors that may cause cancer.

10,000 people have already used the health check service on-board the state-of-the-art unit, but now a wider choice and greater number of tests will be available.

Not only has the number of appointments offered each day increased from twelve to twenty, meaning that Action Cancer can see more clients, but Big Bus service users can now choose four of out six checks, including cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels, lung capacity, facial skin scanning and full body composition analysis. A full body composition check provides information on weight, Body Mass Index, percentage fat and visceral fat (the fat around internal organs), in an effort to fight obesity, one of the increasing causes of cancer.

Previously there were only four checks available and clients could avail of three at a time.

Launched in 2006 and funded to the tune of more than £1million by retailer SuperValu, the Big Bus travels throughout Northern Ireland bringing digital cancer prevention and early detection services into local communities.

Rachel Long from the Action Cancer Health Promotion team said; “Health checks provide information which people can use to make adjustments to their lifestyles, hopefully reducing their risk of cancer. Factors such as being over-weight and a lack of sun safety can significantly increase the chances of getting cancer. Unfortunately the incidences of obesity and skin cancer are on the increase, so this change to the package of checks has been announced to keep up with those developments. We have tailored our health promotion services to give more appointments, choice and an even better range of checks, so that a greater number of clients can get on the road to a healthier lifestyle.”

Independent retail group SuperValu fundraises year round for the Big Bus to keep it moving, and has raised more than £1million to date.

SuperValu Marketing Manager Briege McGinty added; “SuperValu is proud to support Action Cancer’s mobile, helping the charity bring life-saving services to the heart of local communities. One of the things about the partnership we are most proud of is the innovation involved, where new projects like this one are constantly being introduced. The updated package of checks will target more people, with more checks and an even greater impact.”

For more information on the Big Bus contact Action Cancer on 028 9080 3344 or visit www.actioncancer.org