Blue September is an initiative that was developed in New Zealand in 2008 by the countries Prostate Cancer Foundation to increase awareness about male cancers. The initiative has since spread to Australia and the UK and this year it is being widely publicised in Ireland.
The main idea is to increase public awareness about male cancers and to encourage men to go to their doctor for screening tests or if they might develop any symptoms that suggest they may have a diagnosis of cancer.
The statistics are stark in that 1in 3 men will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage of their life and the earlier they present to their GP for diagnosis and treatment the better the chance of cure. We also know that men in general are not good at going to see their doctor with health problems and we want to change this behaviour.
So don’t put your health on hold, come and see me today.
The big 4 cancers in males are – Prostate, Testicular, Bowel and Lung. Below I have outlined some symptoms which could suggest each diagnosis. The men’s health alliance has a good website and gives good information on symptoms of male cancers and self examination techniques.
Testicular Cancer – Most common cancer in 15-34 year old men, 172 men diagnosed per year in Ireland.
- Lump in testes
- Swelling in scrotum
- Pain in groin/abdomen/ back
Prostate Cancer – 1 in 8 men develop prostate cancer, more common if a close relative has had it.
- Pain passing urine
- Difficulty – increased frequency passing urine
- Blood in urine
- Men should come for screening for prostate cancer every 2 years over the age of 50 years.
Bowel Cancer – 2nd most common cancer in men, most cases present over the age of 75 years.
- Abdominal pain
- Change in bowel habit .i.e. constipation, diarrhoea, weight loss, blood in bowel motions or a feeling of incomplete emptying of bowel.
Lung Cancer – 3rd most common cancer diagnosed in men, 1261 cases in Ireland per year.
- Cough lasting more than 2 weeks
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite -weight loss