This weekend, we're urging sons and daughters to have a three-minute conversation with their dad about prostate cancer that could save their lives, after a new poll finds more than a quarter of people dodge talking about health issues with their fathers.

Father and son talk on the sofa
17 Jun 2016

Having a health chat with your dad this Father’s Day could save his life – but a new survey shows many sons and daughters across the UK are too shy to start the conversations that count.

Over a fifth of men (21%) and a third of women (35%) say they would dodge having a heart-to-heart with their dad about an intimate health issue like prostate cancer, and over a quarter (29%) of people neglect to talk to their father about his health at all, found a YouGov poll commissioned by us.

It suggests that thousands of fathers across the UK might receive Father’s Day cards, but will miss out on tough-love conversations about their health which could save their life, and the lives of their sons and grandsons too.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, killing over 10,900 every year in the UK. Often dubbed the ‘dad’s disease’, men whose own father or brother have been affected are two-and-a-half times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer themselves.  Black men and men aged 50 or over are also at higher risk.

This year I’m urging everyone to have a three-minute conversation with their dad about prostate cancer

Angela Culhane, our Chief Executive, lost her own father-in-law to prostate cancer, putting her husband and son at an increased risk of the disease. She said: “A father isn’t just for Father’s Day, he’s for life – and sons and daughters can play a big role in helping to make sure his life is a long one.

"If everyone who gives a card to their dad this Sunday, also showed they care by asking the serious questions strangers won’t ask, no matter how awkward, then many more fathers will live to see many more Father’s Days. This year I’m urging everyone to have a three-minute conversation with their dad about prostate cancer to ensure he’s there for many more years to come."

In the survey of over 2,000 men and women, over two-fifths (43%) said they pick their father’s brains for life advice; but the findings suggest that over half (53%) seldom repay the favour, as their dads would never or rarely approach them for advice. This Father’s Day, we're urging the nation to flip the statistics and take it on themselves to offer their fathers a vital piece of advice about the disease that kills one man every hour in the UK – because ignoring prostate cancer won’t beat it.

Thousands of sons and daughters have already come together to share heart-warming pearls of wisdom passed down from their fathers to encourage families everywhere to return the favour by speaking up about prostate cancer and making sure their dad is wise to his risk.

No one should be afraid to have potentially awkward conversations with their dad – especially about his health

Phill Griffith, who lost his father to prostate cancer 15 years ago, said: “My dad told me to always be myself. I can still hear his words ringing through my ears ‘you can only be you and that’s who you are best at being. You are the star in your movie.’ Like so many others, I relied on my father to guide me through so many situations in life but I didn’t realise how much his wisdom and advice meant to me until he was gone.

“No one should be afraid to have potentially awkward conversations with their dad – especially when it comes to his health. If they don’t hear it from you, they may not hear it from anyone and for men in particular, a conversation about prostate cancer could save your life as well as his.”

comments powered by Disqus