Footballer and cancer survivor Alan Stubbs has backed a Worldwide Cancer Research drive to raise awareness of the illness.
The former Hibernian manager and Celtic defender joined a host of people across Scotland turning a small part of their world upside down to illustrate the impact of a cancer diagnosis.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the life-saving cancer research Worldwide Cancer Research UK funds – and the role research plays in developing more effective treatments for people affected by cancer, now and in the future.
The Scottish-based charity funded 107 cancer research projects in 17 different countries in 2017, and has committed £4 million towards funding a further 20 projects in 2018, each with a focus on working towards its vision where no life is cut short by cancer.
Stubbs, 46, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999 aged 28, and then underwent surgery in 2001 when further tests revealed a tumour at the base of his spine. He also lost his father to cancer the same year.
The footballer made a full recovery and was back playing football within months, but admits the experience changed his outlook on life.
READ MORE: Alan Stubbs discusses cancer, Gazza and Hibs
Investment in research and advances in treatments mean that now 98 per cent of men who are diagnosed with testicular cancer can be cured.
Stubbs also highlighted the importance of people getting concerns checked, as the chances of survival are higher when the disease is found early.
Stubbs, who is backing the Worldwide Cancer Research campaign, said: “Being told I had cancer pulled the rug from under me. I was young, at the height of my career and it was the last thing I expected to hear.
“I credit football with saving my life, as I was diagnosed as a result of a routine drug test. Had I not been pulled in after the Scottish Cup Final, my story might have been very different.
“I feel like the luckiest guy in the world as my cancer was found early and I was able to access treatments and care that help me beat it. There’s so much that can be done to treat cancer nowadays, and things are changing all the time thanks to the pioneering research that’s saving lives.
“I just put my faith in the doctors and kept a positive mind. Yes, cancer turns your world upside down, but there is hope.”
READ MORE: Testicular cancer survival rate reaches 96%
Dr Helen Rippon, CEO at Worldwide Cancer Research said: “Our vision is that no life should be cut short by cancer, and we’re delighted so many people have united in support of our Lives Turned Upside Down campaign on World Cancer Day.
“Worldwide Cancer Research funds pioneering research projects across the world, working tirelessly to outsmart cancer and find better ways to diagnose and treat the disease.
“This vital research wouldn’t happen without funding and we continue to be indebted to our many supporters who are helping turn things around for those facing a cancer diagnosis and their families.”
People are being encouraged to turn part of their world upside down and share to mark World Cancer Day on February 4th using the hashtag #LivesTurnedUpsideDown
To find about more about Worldwide Cancer Research and its life-saving work, visit worldwidecancerresearch.org