We aim to encourage people to think about their pants area and to seek help if they are worried about anything, since cancer can move fast, and if we are to make a difference, everyone needs to know what to look out for.
Back in 2007 I had surgery because of womb cancer so I am a 10 year survivor myself. During my recovery I dreamed of trying to prevent others going through the same experience, and was especially concerned to know that young women may be affected and would probably have no idea. Although it is no walk in the park for an older woman to have cancer, (I was 58) at least I had no more use for the nursery for my children, and my heart ached when I heard the stories of young women being denied the chance of motherhood.
I knew I had to raise awareness because there was very little information about this type of cancer, or about any of the cancers in the pants area.
As part of my drive to change things, I opened up my first charity shop in Falmouth in 2009 to raise money to be able to have a website and to produce leaflets etc to get Pants into the public domain.
Living here in Falmouth, Cornwall, I was so aware of the skill of Tim Smit of the Eden Project , who so successfully engaged with the media. I knew that I needed to follow his example if Pants was going to achieve its aims.
A chance meeting with Chris Kevern who provides all our photos and videos, led to a great partnership producing images and information with which to interest the media. Together we produced the first Pants Calendar with the entire gynae cancer team at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in their pants for Pants! Mr Tito Lopes, Lead Gynaecological Oncology Surgeon, and the great team, have been up for doing anything to support what I am trying to achieve.
I have spoken on radio countless times, and Spotlight TV has been to film several times. I talk to different groups every week about our work and what we are trying to achieve.
The first shop was such a success that we now have 6 retail units. Posh Pants, Fancy Pants and Shabby Chic Pants, and 3 retail units called Hubs, mean we can provide the most exciting shopping experience locally and the wonderful support we receive has meant that we can sponsor the Active Pants Program, financially support those with cancer, and employ people locally. We are also able to support people from the refuge and others in need since we have so much.
The shops have provided an amazing opportunity to promote awareness of pants area cancers and as soon as I opened the first shop people came in and said “ you don’t mention my type of cancer” and it soon became obvious that I needed to talk about all the cancers. We now cover penile, vulval, bladder, bowel, anal, testicular, womb, and ovarian cancers and the website is here to encourage people to follow our great links for useful information about the signs and symptoms of all the cancers. By doing this, it is hoped that people will become aware of when something is wrong and know that they need to discuss this with their doctor or nurse in case it might be cancer. Most times it won’t be.But..if it does turn out to be cancer, then the sooner you act, the better your chance of survival.
We actively support the Smear Test and the HPV program and you will find more about this elsewhere on the site.
Pants is linked to IGAD. International Gynae Awareness Day, which is Sept 10th. Kath Mazzella, a 16 year survivor of vulval cancer set this up and worldwide there are people and organisations signed up to encourage people to think about women’s health issues.
We support all the men’s days happening in the UK and in other countries to try and stop men dying from embarrassment and ignorance too, and there are links to some great websites where you can learn more about the men’s cancers.
It has been an incredible journey so far, but there is much work to be done. A 14 year old boy has died of testicular cancer, a 20 year old girl of vulval cancer, and a 22 year old of cervical cancer. In their memory, and all those who have lost their lives to this dreadful disease, Pants continues to raise awareness.
If you wish to contact me, Jeannette Preston, founder of Pants, the best way is by email from the contact page. My mobile is 07753729171 and I can receive calls from 9-5. but am not always in range of a signal as I travel a great deal. If my calls are stacked up it may be sometime before I can return your call. Most queries can be answered by the Shop staff.
Jeannette Preston Founder of Pants .