Listen up people – the chaps among you in particular – it’s Male Cancer Awareness Week and, according to a survey by male cancer charity Orchid, awareness of testicular cancer in particular is pretty low in some circles with two thirds of men not sure how to check themselves for signs of the disease.
The survey – which was completed by 3,000 men – was commissioned in order to establish how ‘in touch’ those of us with Y chromosomes are with the family jewels and, as well as finding that many more of us need to swat up on what to look for, there were some other surprising statistics based on various social and environmental factors. Here are some examples:
– Single men are less likely to recognise the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer
– Office workers are least likely to regularly check themselves
– Tabloid readers appear to be more aware and likely to check for lumps and bumps
– One in three men would tell their mum or partner if they found a lump, rather than their GP
– Manual workers are most likely to ignore early symptoms of testicular cancer
– London men are less ‘ball’ aware than other areas of the UK.
Apparently, if it’s caught early, testicular cancer can be 98% curable. Sadly it seems that too many men delay seeking an early diagnosis meaning that, if they are suffering from the disease, there’s more chance of it spreading and of less chance of treatment being effective.
One of the reasons I participate in Movember every year is because I once had a scare. I got it checked out by my GP and had a scan too and, fortunately, it was a false alarm. I’m not going to lie; it was a horribly embarrassing and awkward experience, but I’ll do it all again if I’m ever in any doubt. I’d rather be embarrassed than seriously ill.
Orchid is today launching its first confidential, freephone National Male Cancer Helpline. It is staffed by male cancer information nurse specialists every Monday and Wednesday from 10am-5pm on 0808 802 0010. They can also be contacted via a new email service at firstname.lastname@example.org.