Penile Cancer Campaign #indenial

New research carried out by the charity Orchid reveals that only 6% of adults in the UK would recognise one of the most common signs of penile cancer.  Furthermore over 72% of adults were likely to confuse the signs or penile cancer with a sexually transmitted disease. This is despite cases of the disease increasing in recent years.

Over 600 men will be diagnosed with penile cancer in the UK over the next 12 months and an estimated 1 in 585 men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. Since the late 1970s, penile cancer incidence rates in males have increased by 25% in the UK. Whilst it is most often diagnosed in men over the age of 60 years, more men in their 30s and 40s are now being affected. Research has suggested that 25% of cases in the UK now occur in males younger than 50.

Poor awareness of penile cancer, coupled with its rarity can make those affected slower to respond to early warning signs and symptoms. By the time men have been correctly diagnosed, several weeks or even months may have passed and the cancer may have progressed.  This can make treating the disease more complicated, particularly if it has spread.

#indenial is a new campaign to raise awareness of penile cancer. With cases on the increase Orchid wants men, their partners and healthcare professionals to be better aware of the disease, to know who is at risk, to understand the common warning signs and symptoms and to take action:

  • Be aware of the common signs and symptoms of penile cancer such as a growth or ulcer on the penis, especially on the glans or foreskin
  • Be aware of changes in the colour of the penis or a reddish rash
  • Be aware of persistent discharge, blood or pain from the tip of the penis or under the foreskin
  • Take action and seek a referral to a urologist for further assessment if symptoms do not resolve after initial treatment. Don’t ignore the signs and symptoms.

To launch the #indenial campaign, Orchid is organising a range of activities throughout November so why not join us and get involved:

  • “Where is Willy” event. Our penile cancer awareness campaign launches in November with a unique, first fundraising event “Where is Willy”. The 2k fun run, jog or walk will take place on the 9 November at 6.30pm at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. All funds raised will go to support our work in penile cancer. For more information or to take part please see: https://orchid-cancer.org.uk/challenge-events/where-is-willy/
  • Roadshows, health information events and talks: Staff and volunteers will be running Roadshows, health information events and talks across the UK including the Blackburn Male Cancer Awareness Roadshow at The Mall on the 28-29 November and a Penile Support Meeting on the 29 November in Sunderland. Please click here for more details.
  • Raising Awareness: Free penile cancer guides, posters and banners can be used in health centres, offices, colleges, libraries, sports centres and shopping centres.
  • Why not support Orchid and raise awareness of penile cancer by taking on a new challenge, event or raising funds…..

For more information or to order your materials please call 0203 745 7310.

Orchid’s Chief Executive Rebecca Porta comments “These statistics illustrate that penile cancer is still a little known and talked about cancer. We are committed to raising awareness of penile cancer and to finding ways to support men and their families. With more men diagnosed every year, many in their 30s and 40s, the need for us to talk openly about penile cancer, to raise awareness, to provide support and care has never been more important.”

A press release on penile cancer can be found here.

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