This week marks male cancer charity, Orchid’s Male Cancer Awareness Week, which provides an opportunity to raise awareness of male specific cancers – prostate, testicular and penile cancer.
Whilst these cancers aren’t widely talked about, over 50,000 men in the UK will be diagnosed with a male specific cancer in the next 12 months.
The focus of this year’s Male Cancer Awareness Week is on a cancer which one in eight men in the UK will develop at some point in their lives – prostate cancer.
Despite the fact that prostate cancer is due to be the most prevalent cancer in the UK within the next 12 years, a report published by Orchid this week found that over 60% of men are not confident in identifying the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer.
Like many cancers, if prostate cancer is diagnosed early, then the likelihood of survival increases.
However, Orchid report some worrying statistics:
· 37% of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in the late stages;
· 42% of prostate cancer patients saw their GP with symptoms twice or more before they were referred;
· 23% of all cancer cases are diagnosed through A&E, with the majority of these cases at the late stage.
That is why this week is so important in raising awareness of male specific cancers, so that the signs and symptoms can be spotted and action, if needed, can be taken.
I am therefore encouraging constituents to take a look at Orchid’s ‘F.A.C.E up to prostate cancer’ campaign, so that they can think about and are aware of 4 key risk factors: family history; age; change in urinary habits and ethnicity.
If patients and health professionals are equipped with the knowledge and confidence to spot signs and symptoms of cancers, it could be detected and diagnosed early, which can increase the likelihood of survival.
If you are affected or worried by any of this, then you should have a conversation with your GP.