Is prostate cancer still taboo?

Is prostate cancer still taboo?

Why is the issue of mens' health so important?

According to Prostate Cancer UK, 83 per cent of men who are at an increased risk of developing the disease are unaware of the danger.

The charity actually described the situation as men "walking around like ticking time bombs", painting a dramatic picture over just how bad the issue is.

More than 10,000 men die every year in the UK as a result of prostate cancer. However, it could be argued this number would be much less if we were able to break the taboo and get more men talking openly about their health.

So, what's being done to sort this out?

What has Movember done for mens' health issues?

The annual, worldwide Movember campaign has worked wonders for making mens' health - and particularly prostate cancer - the mainstream topic it deserves to be.

By encouraging people to do something silly as a way of approaching the topic in normal conversation, Movember has been able to engage more than four million men and women so far.

Of course, modern technology and social media has helped to spread the message, with the number of those taking part increasing every year.

Do men still not know enough about prostate cancer?

If the figures are anything to go by, there's still plenty of work to be done.

A Prostate Cancer UK study recently found that the vast majority (84 per cent) of men over 50 don't know they are at an increased risk of developing the illness.

Similarly, 77 per cent of those in this age bracket said that even if they were aware of this fact, they still wouldn't speak to their GP about it.

With this in mind, it could be suggested that while Movember is doing great work, there might need to be more focus on the older demographic. Whether Movember is the campaign to successfully do this is another matter.

Is Movember the only major prostate cancer awareness campaign?

There are other initiatives trying to get men talking about their health.

One example is Men United, which Prostate Cancer UK is promoting. Fronted by the comedian Bill Bailey, its aim is to raise awareness of some of the facts about the disease, including:

    • Where the prostate is
    • How much is spent on research every year
    • How many people are diagnosed with it each year
    Perhaps arming men - and women - with basic knowledge is the first step in truly breaking a taboo that still exists, certainly among specific age groups.

In the meantime, it is campaigns like Movember that can help to make sure the younger generation doesn't struggle with the same problem of not speaking out in years to come.

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