Orchid is the UK’s leading charity for those affected by male cancer.
For over 25 years we have been working to save men’s lives from testicular, penile and prostate cancer through a range of support services, education and awareness campaigns and a world-class research programme.
Orchid was founded in 1996 by testicular cancer patient Colin Osborne MBE and Professor Tim Oliver, the oncologist who saved his life. Today, we carry forward this grassroots approach to supporting men with male cancer, educating communities and working with research professionals.
Our research shows there is low awareness of male specific cancers, the risk factors and the signs and symptoms – even amongst those most at risk.
Finding cancer early makes such a tremendous difference to both survival rates and the level of treatment needed. It is critical that those at risk of male cancers, or those who have developed early symptoms, understand when they need to contact their GP.
Here are just some of the ways that we are educating communities about male cancer:
- Orchid Male Cancer Information Nurses and Community Engagement Team work closely with a wide range of groups to deliver awareness programmes and wellness sessions. These groups include health and social care professionals, voluntary organisations, community groups, support networks, schools, universities and local companies.
- Our Male Cancer Information Roadshows take place across the UK, often in areas of disadvantage.
- Our Overcoming the Barriers to Engaging with Prostate Cancer project is opening conversations in local communities, especially among those most at risk. We have trained Volunteer Community Champions who are helping men to spot the signs and giving them the confidence to seek help early.
- Male Cancer Awareness Week every September is an opportunity for us to direct focus onto male cancer. In 2022, we shone a spotlight on testicular cancer and ran a campaign called ‘Older Men Get Testicular Cancer Too’.
- In 2021, we released a new film called ‘My Penile Cancer Journey’ and showed a moving video featuring photographs of men who have suffered with male cancer.
We run engaging social media campaigns to raise awareness of symptoms and promote our support services for male cancer patients and their families
We offer wide range of support services to males of all ages, including:
- A freephone National Male Cancer Helpline (0808 802 0010) which is available Monday, Wednesday and Fridays 9.00am–5.30pm and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Independently reviewed and evidence-based publications about the three male cancers. These have been developed to support patients, their families and healthcare professionals to better manage diagnosis and treatment.
- Checklists for men visiting their GP to discuss male cancer concerns.
- The Young Persons’ Person’s Testicular Cancer Project (YPTCP) – set up to engage with school nurses, health professionals and education providers, to help them better understand testicular cancer. Recently we have launched a PSHE Association accredited lesson plan for schools on testicular health.
- A unique programme of nurse-led cancer-specific peer support opportunities.
- Our testicular cancer microsite: Your Privates. This was highly commended at the British Medical Association Patient Information Awards, 2016
- Multiple award-winning films exploring both the clinical and psychological aspects of male cancer.
- Telephone counselling for those with penile or testicular cancer.
We support a range of important research projects and are particularly focused on maintaining the pioneering Robert Lane Tissue Bank in London.
The tissue bank contributes to world class research into male cancer by providing a world-leading blood and tissue specimen resource.
This resource is incredibly important in facilitating research. You can read more about our research and the role of the Robert Lane Tissue Bank here.
Orchid is committed to sharing best practice and building partnerships. We actively work in close collaboration with health and social care professionals, policy makers and other cancer charities to bring about positive change for men and their families.
Organisations we work closely with include:
- Network for Patients
- Macmillan Cancer Support
- Teenage Cancer Trust
- British Association of Urological Nurses
- British Association of Urological Surgeons
- Cancer Research UK
- Penile Cancer Supra-networks
- CHAPS The Men’s Health Charity
- Prostate Cancer Research
- Tackle Prostate Cancer
- We collaborate with Cancer52 about testicular and penile cancer. Cancer52 is a collective of over 90 organisations concerned with less common cancers (all those except prostate, lung, breast and bowel disease). Together, the less common cancers account for around 52% of all cancer deaths in the UK.
- EAU Patient Office/Advocacy
- HPV Coalition
- UK PeCaN intitative
- Businesses who educate their workforces about male cancer and incorporate fundraising and donation into their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives
We depend on donations to continue with our work. We would like to thank all the individuals, funds, businesses and foundations that make our work possible.
Individuals have supported us by donating in memory of loved ones, by participating in one of our events, by leaving us legacies and by volunteering and running collections.
The National Lottery Community Fund has given us a three-year grant to run a prostate cancer programme across ten areas of England.
We have received various types of grants from Charitable Trusts and Foundations. Businesses have made donations and their staff have generously donated via payroll giving. Corporate support has remained constant, despite recent challenges facing our supporters.
Committed to our Supporters
We strive to reach the highest standards in our work and in the feedback we provide to our generous donors. Thank you for supporting us. With your help, we can further raise awareness of male cancer, support men and their families on their cancer journey and fund vital research by spreading news about Orchid.