Carlow men urged to ‘step up to the mic’ and join the conversation about prostate cancer

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Kilkenny men urged to ‘step up to the mic’ and join the conversation about prostate cancer

Des Bishop

Some of Ireland’s best known comedians have come together to encourage men to be more open about discussing their health and specifically their prostate health.

The Marie Keating Foundation’s second annual Stand Up For Your Prostate campaign encourages men to be more open about their health and to speak to their GP about a PSA test when they turn 50, or 45 with a family history of prostate cancer.

This Blue September campaign hopes to challenge the taboo or embarrassment that some men can feel discussing their prostate health  and encourage men through comedy to talk about what is an important health issue.

Sponsored by Astellas, the campaign is fronted by comedians Des Bishop, PJ Gallagher, Danny O’Brien, Al Foran and Gearoid Farrelly, and aims to raise awareness of levels of prostate cancer, encourage conversation and raise vital funds to support the 3,665 men diagnosed in Ireland every year. 

“In relation to prostate cancer, it is the second most common cancer in men, one in eight men will get it. And I know you think one in eight is not that much but when I  got testicular cancer, I really thought that it could never be something that would happen to me.  You really do think it’s never going to be you until it’s you, that’s why it’s so important for men over 50 to be aware of prostate cancer and speak to their GP about PSA testing.” Comedian and cancer survivor, Des Bishop.

When detected early, prostate cancer is very treatable with five year survival rates at 93% or more.

“Prostate cancer has an excellent survival rate, over 93% when detected early. I am proud to support this campaign that is focussed on getting men more aware of the importance of talking to their GP when they reach 50 about their prostate health. Prostate cancer is normally asymptomatic which is why it is important to go for regular checks when you hit that 50 year milestone. Whether this campaign speaks directly to you or a loved one, we are urging all the men of Ireland to ‘Stand Up for Their Prostate’ and watch, talk and act, by putting their health first.” Mr. Robert Flynn, Consultant Urologist, Tallaght Hospital.

It is recommended that men begin to have a conversation with their GP from the age of 45 if you have a family history of prostate or breast cancer, or 50 if there is no family history. If you are experiencing frequency passing urine, getting up at night time to go to the toilet, pain on  passing urine, difficulty passing urine, your flow has become weak or intermittent or you see blood in your urine or semen at any time that is otherwise unexplained, please see your GP without delay.

A “Stand Up For Your Prostate” live comedy night will be taking place on September 24 at the famous Laughter Lounge comedy venue in Dublin featuring sets from the Stand Up For Your Prostate ambassadors Gearoid Farrelly, Al Foran, Danny O’Brien and legendary Irish comic Ed Byrne. Tickets to the exclusive livestream gig from the the comfort of your own home can be purchased here. 

“We want the men of Ireland to rally behind prostate cancer the same way women do for breast cancer. Considering that prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongst men in Ireland (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer), prostate health needs to be something men are open to discussing. As survival rates for prostate cancer are so high when treated early, we are encouraging all men to get to know the signs and symptoms and not to be afraid to seek help if they notice changes in their bodies.”  Helen Forristal, Director of Nursing, Marie Keating Foundation.

The campaign’s Little Blue Man emblem, which was widely supported during the 2019 campaign, is once again being sold to help encourage the conversation about men’s health and raise funds to support those on a cancer journey. The Stand Up for Your Prostate pin is available to buy for just €3 on www.mariekeating.ie .