IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chair Alice Doyle said that as part of Men’s Health Week, which begins today, she is encouraging male farmers to visit their GP if they are concerned about prostate cancer.
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in Ireland, with about 3,890 diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. It is primarily a disease of ageing with 9 cases in 10 diagnosed in men aged 55 or older.”
She said that although there is no guaranteed way to prevent prostate cancer, staying healthy as you age, or working to reverse existing health problems, can lower the risk.
“This year International Men’s Health Week is about encouraging the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males, such as prostate cancer. The call to men (and those who support the health of men) is The Action Starts with You,” said Alice Doyle.
Irish Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Manager Kevin O’Hagan said fewer prostate cancers were diagnosed over the last two years. Fewer men were attending their GP. As a result, referrals to rapid access clinics for prostate cancers fell by almost half at the beginning of the pandemic.
“Cancer services are already seeing the results of this, with patients presenting later and at more advanced stages, and experts have warned such delays will lead to more cancer deaths over the next 10 years,” said Mr. O’Hagan.
He said that Men’s Health Week provides an opportunity to encourage men, even if they have no symptoms, to have a conversation with their doctor about their prostate health. One of the real difficulties with prostate cancer is that it often doesn’t cause any symptoms until it becomes advanced.
“The best chance we have to treat and cure this disease is to catch the cancer early, before symptoms develop. Therefore, we would encourage men from the age of 45 to speak to their doctor about their prostate health”.