Health & Safety

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Prostate Cancer UK Launches Men United

17 February 2015

Contrary to popular belief, men are more likely to talk to their mates about their health than sex according to new research from Prostate Cancer UK.

Prostate Cancer UK - Men United - cycling poster

Busting the myth that men take a stiff upper lip approach to their health, 61%* said they would turn to friends for emotional support if they were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer UK, a leading force for mens health, commissioned a survey of mens friendships to time with the launch of the second wave of its Men United campaign, which aims to 'keep friendships alive'.

The YouGov poll of over 2,000 men(1) suggests that 'the times they are a-changing' when it comes to mens health.

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, says:

Its incredibly encouraging to see that health is now a regular topic of conversation between men and their friends. These results indicate that the days of men burying their heads in the sand are behind us and were moving into an era when they not only feel able to talk about their own health, but will stand up for it - not just for themselves, but also for their mates.

Results also found that half of men over 50 - the largest group at risk of prostate cancer - say they have fewer close friends as they get older. It highlights the need for middle aged men specifically to work at their friendships so that they maintain a strong support network for the time in their lives when they might face prostate cancer.

"Men need to heed the rallying cry to join Men United, as not only will they help us beat this disease, which has been lagging behind for too long, but reconnect with their mates too. In particular, we want those men over 50 who are seeing their friendships drift to take the initiative to get together and do something for Men United. With prostate cancer becoming the most common form of cancer by 2030, they never know when they may need their friends.

A further friendship poll for Men United(2) also revealed that although 84 per cent of men believe that seeing their friends is good for their health and well-being, 63 per cent said they spend more time doing routine chores around the house like washing up, and cooking than catching up with a mate. And contrary to the popular belief that men spend all their time gathering on the terraces, online for gaming, or in the pub; in reality over half of men (52%) see their close friends less than once a week(1).

Sharp says Men United gives men the reason and incentive they need to keep up their friendships:

"More than half of men (54%) we spoke to said they wanted to get together with their friends more often. That is what Men United - our movement for everyone who believes men are worth fighting for - is all about."

"By joining Men United people will get to see their mates more, do something great together and help us beat prostate cancer. Whether it's big or small, signing a petition or running a marathon, doing it together is what really matters. We know what starts with a quick 'hello', a chat in the pub or a barbecue with mates, can end with a nationwide army of men - ready to fight for their friends, themselves and men everywhere."

Since it was launched 12 months ago, Men United has caught the imagination, and a new zeal for change in mens health - with more than 200,000 people signing up to pledge support. Men from all walks of life, from footballers to lawyers and politicians to plumbers, have formed a growing army, raising funds to find the answers for the future through research and supporting men now. The new movement also lent its backing to a successful campaign to make drugs available to the men with prostate cancer who need them.

People are being urged to search Men United, and sign up.

Notes

* Men are more likely to talk to their mates about their health than sex according to the results of the following question: Which, if any, of the following do you regularly talk about with your friends?

1: Figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,057 GB adult males. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th November - 1st December 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adult males (aged 18+).

2: Figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,072 male adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th and 16th December 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adult males (aged 18+).

Men United. Keeping Friendships alive.