PRESS RELEASE FROM THE MHF
1st Sept 2011
Blue September, the international campaign which encourages men to face up to cancer, launches in England and Wales today with the support of a wide range of sportsmen, celebrities, and politicians as well as health and sports organisations.
To launch Blue September, the Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has taken the historic step of wearing blue to show his support for the Blue September campaign. His team mate Jamie Carragher has joined him. They may be Reds for Life but they have turned Blue for a Day.
Blue September is necessary because men carry a significantly excess burden of cancer.
The Men’s Health Forum’s statistical analysis shows that men in the UK are about 40% more likely than women to die of cancer. They are about 60% more likely to develop one of the cancers that affects both men and women, such as lung or bowel cancer. Men are also about 70% more likely to die from one of these cancers.
Overall, 154,000 men a year are diagnosed with cancer in the UK and 81,000 die.
Blue September supports the Men’s Health Forum charity and is the first campaign in England and Wales to increase men’s awareness of all cancers. These include lung, prostate, bowel and melanoma.
Blue September focuses on the lifestyle choices men can make to reduce their risk of developing cancer and also encourages men to seek medical advice as soon as possible if they have a worrying symptom.
Peter Baker, chief executive of the Men’s Health Forum, said: “It’s important that more men know about cancer and when to seek help if they think they may have a problem. Too many men are dying unnecessarily because they take risks with their lifestyles and ignore symptoms.”
Footballer Steven Gerrard, Liverpool and England Captain, and die-hard Red even turned blue to launch Blue September. He said: “Putting the blue paint on our faces was a light hearted way of raising a serious message. We can all do our bit to face up to men's cancer. If you think something's not quite right, go to your GP and check it out sooner rather than later."
Health minister Paul Burstow MP said:
“Preventing cancer and diagnosing cancer earlier is one of our key priorities in aiming to achieve cancer outcomes that are amongst the best in the world. Blue September is a great way of encouraging men and their families to adopt healthier lifestyles and know the signs and symptoms of cancer.”
Other big names from sport, health and television support Blue September, including:
Throughout September, there will be Blue September events taking place at football and rugby grounds, workplaces, hospitals and other venues across England and Wales.
More information about Blue September and the people and organisations backing it can be found at www.blueseptember.org.uk.
To organise an interview or for information on the launch please contact Colin Penning at the Men’s Health Forum on 07986 559121 or contact us.
For information on specific events and sports or celebrity endorsements contact Claire McCarthy at Blue September on 07428 236136.
The Men’s Health Forum (MHF) is a charity that provides an independent and authoritative voice for male health in England and Wales and tackles the issues and inequalities affecting the health and well-being of men and boys.
The MHF’s vision is a future in which all boys and men in England and Wales have an equal opportunity to attain the highest possible level of health and well-being.
The MHF exists because men are unnecessarily and disproportionately affected by a wide range of health problems and too often die too young. 42% of men die before the age of 75 compared to 26% of women. www.menshealthforum.org.uk.
The MHF runs the award-winning health information website www.malehealth.co.uk.
Blue September was developed in New Zealand in 2008 by Australian public relations company MWC Media and has since become a massive campaign that gets the message about men's cancer out to Kiwi blokes.
It is now also celebrated in Australia and California and in 2011 it is launching in the Republic of Ireland and here in England and Wales with the Men's Health Forum.
Blue September 2011 England & Wales supporting organisations:
Liverpool Football Club
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Fulham Football Club
Portsmouth Football Club
The Barclays Premier League
The Royal College of GPs
The Royal College of Nursing
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society
The British Association of Urological Surgeons
Constructing Better Health
The Healthy Stadia Network
Varian Medical Systems
Page created on August 31st, 2011
Page updated on September 1st, 2011