Prostate Cancer UK, uniting men in friendship against disease

Prostate Cancer UK's CEO Owen Sharp, at the launch of the 'Men at Arms' campaign.

Prostate Cancer UK’s CEO Owen Sharp, at the launch of the ‘Men United’ campaign.

By Rooney John

Prostate Cancer UK’s new campaign has transformed a real pub intoThe Men United Arms’, to highlight the need for men to support each other in the battle against a disease that affects 1 in 8 men.

The campaign was launched on Wednesday 28 January, at the ‘pop-up-pub’ near London’s Borough Market. Over the next couple of weeks mates are invited to get together, celebrate and explore their friendship through a series of fun activities, that show the importance of male friendship in battling the disease and ultimately keeping friends alive.

The charity sees the traditional pub as a heart of male community, so the Men United Arms is less an actual geographical place than an idea; a space men can get together with their friends, maintain friendships and have fun.

Speaking at the event Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Owen Sharp, said: “The campaign is a really big thing for us. We have come up with the idea of getting men to come together, and not to ignore your friendships and mates. We hope to create a movement for men the same way women created a movement for women a generation ago for breast cancer”

Owen Sharp first came across prostate cancer and the effect it can have on peoples lives while training to be a nurse in Glasgow. He said: “I came across big burly dockers who had never been to the doctor’s in their lives, who at the end of their working life were diagnosed with the disease. You could see that these guys who had been in control of their lives were scared.”

During the campaign, which will be running until March, men and women across the country are encouraged to go online, search Men United and get involved in raising awareness of the disease. Among those supporting the campaign is actor and producer Damian Lewis OBE. In a statement for the campaign he said: “If you think men are worth fighting for, Men United is a side you need to join. Let’s get men talking about the disease that kills one man every hour in the UK. Talk to your dads, talk to your brothers and talk to your mates and sign up for the movement for men taking on prostate cancer.”

With 40,000 men facing a diagnosis of prostate cancer every year Owen Sharp was keen to highlight the need to be aware of the symptoms. He said: “The scary thing about the disease is, and we always say, guys you have to be looking out for the symptoms. If you are getting up in the night to pee more go and get checked out. But if you are not doing that don’t think that you are immune from it because in some cases there are no symptoms. If you are over 50, if you are from an African or Afro-Caribbean background, if you have a family history of it, you are at increased risk of developing it. It is silent killer in the sense that we are too prone to ignoring it and the fact that sometimes there aren’t any symptoms.”

The charity hopes that by joining Men United you’ll get to see your mates more, do something great together, and help beat prostate cancer. To find out more about this important campaign visit the Prostate Cancer UK website or search Men United and help keep friendships alive.

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