September 2nd 2019 – A new prostate cancer campaign has been launched today urging men to WATCH for any symptoms that could be related to your prostate health, TALK with family and friends about their prostate health and ACT by going to see their GP if they have any concerns and over 50 or when they are over 45 with a family history
The Marie Keating Foundation’s ‘Stand Up for Your Prostate’ campaign is looking to empower Irish men to be more open and comfortable discussing their health. Sponsored by Astellas, the integrated campaign hopes to increase awareness of what is the most common cancer in men (after non-melanoma skin cancer) in Ireland during Blue September and raise vital funds to support the 3,550 men diagnosed with the disease every year.
“We want the men of Ireland to unite in the same way women have against breast cancer. There is so much evidence to show that men are still reluctant when it comes to getting checked and discussing their health. More than three-quarters of men asked in a recent Marie Keating Foundation survey said they had never had a conversation with a close male family relative about their prostate? health. Considering it is the most common cancer amongst men and you are 2.5 times more likely to get prostate cancer if a father, uncle or brother has had it, this statistic is worrying.
Survivorship rates are high for prostate cancer and we want them to stay that way and increase further. Whether this campaign speaks directly to you or a loved one, we are urging all the men of Ireland to ‘Stand Up for Their Prostate’ and watch, talk and act, putting their health first. It is recommended for you to have a conversation with your GP from the age of 45 if you have a family history of prostate or breast cancer, or from the age of 50 if there is no family history or you are experiencing increased frequency passing urine, pain passing urine, difficulty passing urine, your flow has become weak or intermittent or you see blood in your urine at any time that is otherwise unexplained.” Helen Forristal, Director of Nursing, Marie Keating Foundation.
Six men, including broadcasters Tony O’Donoghue and Matt Cooper, politician Senator Neale Richmond and rugby legend and journalist Tony Ward, who have all been affected by cancer in some way, are backing the campaign, encouraging men not to put their health on the long finger. Powerful campaign videos have been made with each of the ambassadors and will be showcased on the campaign landing page, www.mariekeating.ie/standupforyourprostate .
RTE soccer correspondent Tony O’Donoghue very sadly lost his Father to prostate cancer when Tony had just started University. “My Dad was diagnosed at a time when cancer wasn’t spoken of, it was too scary. Cancer was a killer, simple as, it was the big ‘C’. Prostate cancer took my Dad away, but it doesn’t have to take people away, it’s so curable when caught early. Irish men need to think about their health for the years ahead. This is why I am so proud to be an ambassador for this campaign and why I am urging all men to watch, talk, act and Stand Up for their Prostate”.
A campaign emblem has been made to help create a community of men publicly committing to prioritising their prostate health, increasing awareness and making a positive change by encouraging more men to watch, talk and act. The Stand Up for Your Prostate pin is available to buy for just €2 on www.mariekeating.ie and every cent raised will be put towards the Foundation’s work supporting prostate cancer survivors and increasing awareness.
Recent research carried out shows that knowledge of prostate cancer’s possible signs and symptoms is relatively low with just 16% feeling well informed, comparing poorly with other cancers such as breast (31%) and skin (26%). Men were also unaware of the strong genetic link with prostate cancer. More than two-thirds (66%) of men were unaware that they were at an increased risk if a close male family relative has had prostate cancer.
CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation, Liz Yeates “Due to better awareness, better imaging and some new advances in treatments, survivorship rates for prostate cancer have greatly improved and are now at 91%. It’s worrying however that less than 20% of men in Ireland feel well informed about the possible signs & symptoms of prostate cancer. It’s really important that we keep men’s health on the agenda and focus on continuing to maintain and improve those survival rates. We are inviting everyone to join us this Blue September to wear a Stand Up for Your Prostate pin and support all those diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.”