THEY are best known for their exploits in Super League.
But rugby stars Keith Senior and Andy Raleigh have shown themselves in a new light – in a spoof movie with a serious message.
The rugby hunks have been filmed in the bizarre setting of a women’s hairdressing salon to highlight rare cancers.
They read magazines as they sit beneath hair driers, with captions in the silent black and white film highlighting the importance of health checks.
The film is the work of a Huddersfield charity.
It has pledged to raise funds to stop teenagers and young adults missing out on vital cancer treatment.
As part of National Youth Against Cancer Week, the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust has launched its campaign, ‘Gonads, It’s not just b#*?@cks ... it’s a serious message’.
The aim is to encourage men to regularly check for testicular cancer and encourage women to become more aware of symptoms of ovarian cancer.
The campaign has got celebrity backing, with Stephen Fry tweeting his support.
The Trust has also pledged to help fund research into establishing the best form of treatment for young adults with Germ Cell Tumours.
GCTs, which are amongst the most common cancer in adolescents, usually affect the testes and the ovaries, or as they are collectively known – gonads.
According to the trust, research into GCTs in this age group is often overlooked as medical teams focus on children and adults.
As a result, treatment for adolescents is poorly understood and often undertaken on wards that aren’t tailored to young patients’ needs.
Trust manager Pam Thornes said: “We don’t fully understand how age affects gonad cancer so this research will help ensure that young people with GCTs get the best treatment.
“However early detection is really important and can save lives – which is why this week we are encouraging young men to make sure that they regularly check themselves for lumps or swellings, which are potential signs of testicular cancer.
“But the campaign isn’t just about men.
“Although ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose, we want young women to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. “These can include continual pelvic and stomach pain, increased abdominal pain, persistent bloating and difficulty eating and feeling full quickly”.
The Huddersfield-born Rugby League stars are both Trust ambassadors.
Andy said: “I’ve been involved with the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust for a number of years now and I’m proud to be part of a team that works hard to raise funds for research into cancer in young people.
“I hope that the film we made will help make people more aware of gonad cancer and therefore pledge their support to the campaign – we certainly had fun making it!”
The research is being led by a team based in Huddersfield and Leeds on behalf of the National Cancer Research Institute Testis Clinical Studies Group, the Gynaecological CSG and the Teenage and Young People CSG.
Dr Jonathan Joffe, consultant medical oncologist at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, is part of the team co-ordinating the research.
He said: “The research will, for the first time, explain why these tumours behave differently in different age groups and will demonstrate the optimal way to treat and cure more patients with these cancers.
“It will also hopefully put an end to the separate approaches currently being used by cancer teams.”
To view the promotional film go to http://www.lauracranetrust.org/gonads.aspx or text GNAD42 2 to 70070 to donate £2 and pledge your support to the campaign.