‘Man up’ for your own health, says Prostate Cancer UK
Friday January 24, 2014 at 3:50pm
Prostate Cancer UK is challenging men across the UK to take the initiative when it comes to their own health, and has launched a new campaign, Men United v Prostate Cancer, fronted by comedian Bill Bailey. The charity has also released new research showing that 90% of GPs do not always initiate potentially life-saving discussions about prostate disease with men who don’t have symptoms but are in one of the high risk groups. Men United, launched by comedian Bill Bailey is an unashamedly masculine campaign which uses the language of sport to engage the nation’s men and prepare them to face up to the difficult decisions which come with the knowledge of it. During the integrated television, print and digital campaign, running until the end of March, men – and women – will be encouraged to go online to search Men United and to get involved by testing their knowledge of the disease. For every man who takes the simple online test, builders’ merchants Keyline, a supporter of Prostate Cancer UK, will donate 50p to the charity. Bill Bailey says: “We need men to sign for the team in their thousands. Pubs, clubs, individuals – let’s get everyone on the team. It’s easy – just search Men United online and you’re in! We’re determined to make this as massive for blokes as the breast cancer campaign has been for women." Bailey’s father-in-law is one of 250,000 men in the UK living with the disease. Although the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, typically from a man’s fifties, the nationwide survey shows that in 2014 only one GP in 10 always broaches the issue of prostate health with men of 50 and over who do not display symptoms. Prostate cancer kills a man in the UK every hour but it can be treatable if caught early. However, in most cases prostate cancer lacks symptoms and the test for the disease is not reliable enough to warrant introducing the kind of screening programme which would automatically call men in to discuss the issue. This lack of symptoms also means the disease is excluded from key public health initiatives such as Be Clear on Cancer. GPs are the population’s first line of defence and the survey findings fuel concern that men at higher risk are slipping through yet another part of the system. There are three red flags known to indicate heightened risk of prostate cancer. They are being aged 50 or over; being of Black African or African Caribbean ancestry; and having a close male relative who has been diagnosed with the disease. Prostate Action, which merged with Prostate Cancer UK in July 2012, was responsible for the multi-award winning ‘Give A Bob’ campaign, created by promotional marketing agency TCA. The latest digital technology was used to bring comedian Bob Monkhouse, who had died of prostate cancer, back to life in a hard-hitting appeal to men to be aware of the disease. The campaign won numerous trophies, including in the ISP awards (now the IPM awards), the IMC European awards and the MAAW GLOBE worldwide awards.