RATES of prostate cancer are higher than ever before, the latest research from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland shows.
In its most recent annual report, the NCRI reported that 3,890 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in 2020.
However, thanks to increased awareness, early detection and improved treatments, survival rates have never been higher.
The Marie Keating Foundation’s third annual Stand Up For Your Prostate Campaign, kindly supported by Astellas, is encouraging 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.
Prostate cancer is the number one most common cancer in men in Ireland (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer), with one in six men expected to be affected by the disease in their lifetime. However, when detected early, prostate cancer has very promising five-year survival rates of 92%. But like many other forms of cancer, these survival rates are all dependant on when the cancer is detected, and we know that early detection saves lives and improves survival.
Prostate cancer survivor and Stand Up For Your Prostate ambassador Raymond Poole, shares his experience with prostate cancer and what he wants the men of Ireland to know about looking after their prostate health in this new campaign.
He said: “I’m a prostate cancer survivor, and I’m asking men like me to just go and get their prostate checked. Do it for me, for yourself, for your partner, your kids, your dogs! Guys, just get your PSA checked.
"My prostate cancer diagnosis has impacted almost every aspect of my life, but it doesn’t have to when it’s detected early.”
A PSA, or Prostate Specific Antigen testing, is a simple blood test which checks the blood for protein markers that can help to indicate issues in the prostate early. Consultant Urologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dr David Galvin, explains why a PSA test is crucial for men once they reach a certain age.
“When it comes to PSA testing, it is recommended that men start having that conversation with their GP around the age of 45. The difficult aspect of prostate cancer is that many men don’t experience any symptoms or if they do, the warning signs of prostate cancer can be overlooked or easily dismissed. I am proud to help support the Marie Keating Foundation in their call for Irish men to speak up about prostate cancer and to get their PSA checked.”
Prostate Cancer’s early warning signs can include:
- frequency passing urine
- getting up a night time to go to the toilet
- pain on passing urine, difficulty passing urine, your flow has become weak or intermittent blood in your urine or semen at any time that is otherwise unexplained
This year’s Stand Up For Your Prostate campaign aims to encourage men to take an active role in their health, and to speak to their GP if they have any concerns or worries about a change in their bodies.
Urology Nurse Specialist and Director of Nursing Services at the Marie Keating Foundation, Helen Forristal explains: “Men typically get a bad rap for not speaking about their health, but when resources and supports are put in place, we see that this is not the case. Our Stand Up For Your Prostate campaign is designed to give men an opening to speak about their health with others, and can be exactly what some men need to go to their GP.
“Our message this year is a simple one, if you are 50, ask your GP to consider checking your PSA levels.it you are 45 with a family history of prostate or breast cancer in the family have that conversation. It could save your life.”
The campaign’s Little Blue Man emblem is 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. For more information about this campaign and information on prostate cancer, visit www.mariekeating.ie/standupforyourprostate/
To show their support for male cancer survivors or those currently on a cancer journey this September, the Marie Keating Foundation are running a series of support and information workshops for men at every stage of a cancer journey, completely free. For more information visit www.mariekeating.ie/events.
About Marie Keating Foundation:
It’s 23 years since the Marie Keating Foundation was set up, following Marie’s death from breast cancer in 1998. After losing their mother, the Keating family promised that they would do everything they could to ensure men and women in every community in Ireland had access to the necessary information to prevent cancer or detect it at its earliest stages.
The Marie Keating Foundation supports families across Ireland at every step of their cancer journey.
Through its community information service, the Foundation’s nurses have talked to over 300,000 people about the causes and risk factors of cancer. The Foundation offers national cancer awareness and education campaigns covering the most common cancers affecting people in Ireland, including bowel, Testicular, breast, cervical, lung, prostate and skin cancer.
The Marie Keating Foundation supports cancer survivors through its Positive Living and Survive & Thrive programmes.