Three in four men in Ireland have never spoken to their GP about cancer

The Marie Keating Foundation launches new campaign to Get Men Talking about cancer, one of Irish men’s biggest health threats


Three in four men in Ireland have never spoken to their GP about cancer and one in two men in Ireland (55%) have not spoken to a family member or friend about the disease. Over 20,000 men are predicted to be diagnosed with cancer in Ireland in 2016 and one in three men in Ireland will be diagnosed with cancer over their lifetime. The results of the Marie Keating Foundation’s Get Men Talking research were released today as part of the cancer foundation’s new campaign to increase the number of men taking control of their own health. Speaking at the launch of the Get Men Talking campaign, Helen Forristal, Director of Nursing Services, Marie Keating Foundation, said, “Cancer is a subject that tends to make people scared and silent. However, there are simple steps that men can take to reduce their risk and be more aware of the early warning signs. It’s important to talk about your health to friends, family and especially a doctor. Learning about cancer can make the disease less frightening, and potentially save lives.” The Marie Keating Foundation has launched a new website with information on the most common cancers affecting men, including prostate, lung, bowel, and skin cancer. The cancer foundation is also inviting workplaces, community centres and towns nationwide to arrange a free visit from a Marie Keating Foundation nurse who can speak to men about cancer prevention and early detection. For more information see

Prostate cancer- common in Ireland

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in Ireland, with 3,400 men receiving a diagnosis each year. However, prostate cancer also has one of the best survival rates of all cancers. Over 90% of men who are diagnosed with the disease survive. The Get Men Talking campaign is advising men over 50 years of age to talk to their GP about the PSA blood test which can indicate  if there is a problem with the prostate gland and in some cases can help lead to an early diagnosis of prostate cancer.


Speaking at the launch of the Get Men Talking campaign, Dr Mark Rowe, GP and wellness expert, said, “Most men know more about how the home heating works or the internal mechanics of their car than they do about their own body. We often ignore the signs that something is amiss with our bodies, like problems going to the bathroom, a persistent cough or weight loss. Being a man shouldn’t be a health hazard. Start talking to your friends, family and especially your doctor about your health.”

Men’s health tips

To mark the launch of the Get Men Talking campaign, the Marie Keating Foundation has issued eight Get Men Talking tips to help men improve their health and reduce their cancer risk:

  • Get talking– Speak to your GP about the PSA test if you are over 50 years of age
  • Get active– Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Get SunSmart– Seek the shade, wear at least SPF 30 at least and never use sun beds
  • Get checking– Check your testicles once a month. They should be smooth and painless
  • Get screened– If you are between 60 and 69 years of age, take part in BowelScreen
  • Get a balanced diet– Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Cut down on red meat and sugar
  • Get less pints– The less alcohol you drink, the better. Have alcohol-free days.
  • Get smoke free– If you smoke, quit now. Freephone the HSE Quitline on 1800 201 203 or Free text 50100


Speaking at the launch of the Marie Keating Foundation’s Get Men Talking campaign, Dr Martina Dempsey, Head of Medical, Astellas Oncology, said, “ We are proud to support this really important public health initiative to support men in becoming more aware of and more actively involved in managing their health.’


For information and advice on how to prevent, detect and cope with common male cancers, see


The Marie Keating Foundation’s Get Men Talking campaign is kindly supported by an educational grant from Astellas Oncology.


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