Men’s health is no laughing matter

Men can not afford to be embarrassed when it comes to issues in relation to their health, according to Professor Frank Sullivan, consultant radiation oncologist at University College Hospital Galway.

Professor Sullivan was speaking at a special comedy night hosted by Cancer Care West to launch Blue September, a campaign aimed at ensuring men face up to their health, particularly cancer.

"We whole-heartedly welcome Blue September to Ireland to encourage men to face up to cancer and be more aware of preventative measures that can be taken," said Professor Sullivan. "Men can not afford to be embarrassed when it comes to issues in relation to their health, they need to discuss any concerns with their GP and their loved ones."

West of Ireland charity, Cancer Care West, is one of five participating charities in the nationwide Blue September campaign, which was conceived in New Zealand in 2008 before extending to Australia, America, and now Britain and Ireland.

Comedians Des Bishop, Karl Spain, Willa White, John Donnellan and Come Dine with Me Ireland winner Danny Dowling featured at the Galway event in the Róisín Dubh, with all proceeds fundraised on the night donated to the Blue September campaign.

The inaugural Blue September Ireland campaign was launched by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, with the aim of challenging Irish men to face up to cancer. Blue September Ireland aims to raise awareness of bowel, lung, prostate and testicular cancer, while fundraising for the following Irish charities; Cancer Care West, Prostrate Cancer Ireland, The Marie Keating Foundation, The Mater Foundation and The Mercy Hospital Foundation. Key supporters of this year’s campaign include An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former rugby player Bernard Jackman, Irish cricket star Trent Johnson, Karl Henry, The GAA, and the Leinster, Munster and Connacht Rugby teams.

Each year 2,720 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer with 543 deaths, while 2,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer with 650 deaths.

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