Blue September: face up to male cancers

Blue September supporter Liverpool's Steven Gerrard

Blue September is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about all male cancers.

Men are about 40% more likely than women to die of cancer. Every year, around 80,000 men in the UK die from cancer, including lung, prostate and bowel cancer.

But thousands of male cancer deaths could be prevented through healthier lifestyle decisions and early detection.

Blue September is the UK's first national campaign to increase men’s awareness of all cancers that can affect them.

The campaign, which calls for people to paint their face blue in September, has the support of some of England's leading football clubs including Liverpool, Everton and Portsmouth.

Liverpool player Steven Gerrard 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."

The annual campaign hopes that, through raising awareness about cancer affecting men, more men will get checked out and go on to lead healthier lifestyles.

Blue September supporter Professor Sir Mike Richards, the Department of Health's national clinical director for cancer, said: “Men are at higher risk of developing a wide range of cancers than women.

“We need to encourage men to lead healthier lifestyles, to take up screening invitations and to present earlier when they have symptoms that could be due to cancer. Earlier diagnosis can undoubtedly save lives.”

In 2012, Blue September is fundraising for the Urology Foundation. Money raised will go towards funding research into urological disorders, including prostate, kidney and bladder cancers, which affect twice as many men than women.

Take action

Blue September urges men to take preventative action by making healthier choices and taking better care of their health.

More on cancers

Spot the warning signs and cut your risk.

It is not yet clear why men are at a higher risk from cancer. However, lifestyle, genetics and level of health education are believed to all play a part.

For more information, visit our cancer prevention section.

The Blue September campaign is brought to life by men, women and children "going blue" every Friday in September, dubbed Blue Friday, to raise awareness of cancer in men.

The campaign is urging people to host a fundraising event, paint their face blue or wear something blue on Blue Friday.

For more information and to find out how to raise money for the campaign, visit the Blue September website.

Healthy living

You can reduce your chances of getting cancer by following a healthy lifestyle.

Get advice on improving your health, including tips for exercising more, eating healthily and stopping smoking in Ten ways to boost your health.

Calculate your units, read about the risks of drinking too much and find out where to get help in our Alcohol section.

Get help and support with quitting smoking, including what your GP can do, local services and nicotine-replacement therapies in Stop smoking.

For a healthy weight, make sure you eat well and get active. Find out how to get started and keep going in Lose weight and Health and fitness.

If you're over 60, make sure you complete your home bowel cancer screening kit when it is sent to you.

Page last reviewed: 07/09/2012

Next review due: 07/09/2014

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