Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week takes place every 13 to 19 September. This annual event allows us to focus on essential health awareness for men at risk for prostate, penile, or testicular cancer. It aims to improve awareness by highlighting health messages about these male-specific cancers. It also gives men, families, as well as healthcare professionals the chance to learn not just about male cancer but understand the signs and symptoms as well. It’s become more important than ever since there has been a steady rise in the number of men diagnosed each year.
History of Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week
Every year in the U.K., over 55,000 men are diagnosed with prostate, penile, or testicular cancer. According to cancerresearchuk.org, over 52,000 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, over 2,300 with testicular cancer, and 700 with penile cancer. Unfortunately, this number is expected to increase as the nation’s population ages.
That’s where “Orchid,” the leading U.K. charity for prostate, penile, and testicular cancer sufferers, comes in. Colin Osborne — a testicular cancer survivor — and his oncologist, Professor Tim Oliver, founded it. Its mission is to save more lives through a variety of awareness, support, and education programs, as well as cutting-edge research.
While most people are aware of more known cancers such as breast cancer. Not many men, however, know that they could be at risk for cancer if they don’t have themselves checked regularly after reaching a certain age. When you add the feeling of shame most men feel about such a delicate health issue, it’s no wonder that many don’t follow up on symptoms as quickly as they should. There’s a stigma attached to male cancers, one that “Orchid’s” work is hoping to change. As cancer affects not just the individual but their families as well, it’s hoped that men and their families gain a better understanding of the disease and also where to seek treatment.
Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week timeline
In August of 1994, Colin Osborne finds a small malignant growth on his left testicle and later undergoes an orchiectomy or removal of the affected testis.
Colin Osborne and his doctor Professor Tim Oliver start the non-profit organization “Orchid'' — which focuses on male cancers.
Osborne is given the award of “Member of the Order of the British Empire” or MBE by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace for his services to health care.
Orchid, the U.K.’s leading charity dedicated to male cancers decides to set aside a week every year to focus on educating the public on these illnesses.
Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week FAQs
Am I more at risk if cancer runs in my family?
There are some types of cancer like breast cancer that you may be at high risk for if you have close relatives who have it. Most cancers develop because of a combination of factors, not just family history, such as an unhealthy lifestyle, age, and weight.
What are the most common types of cancers in the U.K.?
In 2015-2017, more than half of new cases of cancer in the U.K. are breast, lung, prostate, and bowel.
How common is prostate cancer in the U.K.?
As the most common cancer in men, an estimated one in eight men will develop the disease in their lifetime.
How to Observe Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week
Donate to “Orchid”
Every little bit counts. Any amount of financial support helps them continue their research and help more men survive male cancers.
Volunteer at “Orchid”
Want to make new friends and make a difference? Get involved! Spread the word about what “Orchid” does for male cancer awareness by organizing events such as coffee mornings, concerts, and school and social club talks.
Book a screening
If you’re a man who is 50 and above, it’s time to get a prostate screening. If you have male family or friends above the age of 50, remind them to get a screening as well. Early detection means early treatment.
5 Ways You Can Reduce Your Risk Of Cancer
Know your family history
Familiarize yourself with your family’s health history, as some diseases can be hereditary.
Consider genetic screening
Once you know about a history of prostate, testicular, or breast cancer in your family, get tested.
Monitor your body for changes
Be on the alert for out-of-the-ordinary changes in your body.
Maintain a healthy diet
Eat more fruits as well as vegetables and less red meat and high-fat dairy products, which may increase your chances of developing prostate cancer.
Limit your alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol intake may also lead to other health issues besides cancer.
Why Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week is Important
It was founded by a patient and a doctor
“Orchid” — the organization behind Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week — was established by a cancer survivor and an oncologist. They are the best ones to understand what the patients and families of those suffering from male cancers need.
It makes it acceptable to talk about male illnesses
Though not as widely talked about as other types of cancers, this week heightens awareness for male cancers. It helps rid men of their embarrassment in talking and finding out more about these diseases before it’s too late.
It urges men to see a doctor
Most men are notoriously stubborn when it comes to seeking help—medical or otherwise. This week may motivate men to not only look after their health but visit a doctor as well.
Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week dates