Sunday, April 22, 2012

Male Cancer Awareness Week

Just as you don’t see adverts for Tena Men in men’s magazines (I looked for research purposes only, you understand), neither do Male specific health issues seem to get the same attention as those for women. Where is the blue ribbon for testicular cancer? And did you know that testicular cancer is most common in younger men between the ages of 15-45? Prostate problems (and we know a lot about those here at Barkingside 21) whilst generally affecting older men can also occur in men as young as 40. And men get breast cancer too you know.

Starting tomorrow, fittingly on St George’s Day, is Male Cancer Awareness Week and we at Barkingside 21 are doing our bit to make you all aware.

Here’s a recent report I picked up from source wire:

Helping Your Man Help Himself

New research highlights overwhelming psychological impact of testicular cancer and need for specialist support

Following new research released by Orchid, the male cancer charity, for Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week (23-29 April 2012), highlighting the overwhelming psychological and emotional impact of testicular cancer, Orchid now offer further specialist support resources making it easier for men to take the first step to help themselves, seek quicker diagnosis and maximise the chance of successful treatment.

New research reveals that over two thirds of men (63%) are left so anxious and depressed following their testicular cancer diagnosis that they found it hard to socialise. Furthermore, 86% of men said their confidence and performance at work suffered as a result of their diagnosis and nearly 70% were worried about how their diagnosis would affect their relationship and sex life.

However, in spite of the overwhelming impact of this post-diagnosis anxiety and fear, nearly 40% of men delayed discussing how they were feeling with their partner and over a third (35%) waited at least a few weeks before going to see their GP, once they’d found a lump. This lack of communication and inability to seek help is potentially putting mens’ lives at risk.

In light of this new research, Orchid is launching a new testicular cancer booklet with support and input from patients and consultants to mark this years’ Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week (23-29 April 2012). Written by a male cancer nurse specialist, the booklet provides men with comprehensive advice on testicular cancer and aims to increase awareness of testicular health in general as well as providing support for men who have been diagnosed and are being treated for testicular cancer.

Orchid also now offers a confidential listening and support service staffed by specialist nurses providing advice as well as psychological and emotional support to help sufferers take the first vital step towards seeking treatment as well as providing ongoing support throughout their cancer experience. Research has shown that an overwhelming 81% of sufferers would welcome such specialist support.

Every year over 37,400 men will be diagnosed with a male specific cancer. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in younger men aged between 15 and 45, and the rate is increasing. The most likely way this cancer can initially be identified is by finding a lump or change in the testicle. In over 25% of cases, the cancer has already spread by the time of diagnosis but, if caught at an early stage, the probability of a successful cure is more than 98% .

Rebecca Porta, Chief Executive of Orchid comments: “Male cancer awareness is a significant problem in the UK today and it can still be a challenge to get men to take their health seriously. As this research shows, we all have a role to play in working together to fight male cancer whether it’s to encourage self-checks or to seek medical advice and information. We’re calling on all friends and team mates as well as close family and partners to be proactive in encouraging the man in their lives – their husband, father, son, brother – to be more male cancer aware.”

About Orchid:

Orchid is the UK’s only registered charity focused exclusively on male-specific cancers. Formed in 1996 by a testicular cancer patient, Orchid exists to save men’s lives from testicular, prostate and penile cancers through pioneering research, the provision of specialist information and support, campaigns and raising awareness.


  1. The NHS is sexist. It's far more interested in female problems than male ones. Ditto for social work. Ditto for housing. And women demand equality. Why not? Let them suffer too.

    1. I find your comment amazing, CA. In all my years working on NHS patient experience panels, the overwhelming membership was female, so it is just possible that male-specific problems were not highlighted as much, although female members would have had experience of looking after male relatives and spouses.

      However, I would be interested to read your evidence for 'social work' and 'housing'.