Monday, 21 May 2007

YesBut where are the men

Some noise woke me up in the early hours of Sunday morning, got out of bed pulled back the curtain looked outside, rubbed my eyes, looked outside, pinched myself, looked outside, hundreds of women in bras were running past. Was this some fantasy? - If it was I’d better not tell Mrs YesBut!

Then I remembered it was the London MoonWalk.

Walk the Walk started 10 years ago when a group of women walked the New York Marathon in their bras to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research. Since then it has grown into a world wide organisation raising funds for cancer charities. What I witnessed was the thousands of women who had started their walk at midnight from the Mall, London. The 2006 London MoonWalk raised £6,944,280, ($13.7 million).

I salute the efforts of all women, who not only have raised funds for breast cancer research, but more importantly raised awareness on the subject. As a result of their efforts, women are aware of the steps they can take to examine their own breasts for early signs of cancer. Women are encouraged to participate in breast and cervical cancer screening programs. Thousands of women have been saved from suffering the pain and psychological trauma of breast and cervical cancer.

But my question is “Where are the men?”
In the UK in 2005 there were 10,000 deaths from prostate cancer. Approximately 13% of male deaths are from prostrate cancer and after lung cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men. There was a publicity campaign last year to raise awareness of prostate cancer; but is seems to have fizzled out. Why aren’t men collectively, like women, forming groups to raise funds for cancer research? Is prostrate cancer not regarded as a killer disease? Is it thought too embarrassing to talk about it? Or is it considered to be an “old man’s affliction?” Perhaps that’s it - as can be seen from the Cancer Research UK statistics, the majority of deaths occur in men over 80 years of age.

I have a second question.

In 1982, 24% of boys aged 15 smoked while 25% of 15 year old girls smoked. In 2006 the figure for boys had dropped to 16%, while the figure for girls was virtually unchanged at 24%.It is noticeable when passing office blocks, the majority of the smokers “having a quick drag” are women. It’s the same when you see people emerging from non-smoking areas; the majority of people who light up a cigarette are women or girls.

Why when women have been so successful in raising awareness of breast and cervical cancer, have they failed to persuade young girls not to start smoking?

In my opinion the most repulsive and obscene sight is to see a mother smoking while nursing her child.

Click here to see smoke gets in her eyes

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