I’m just back from speaking at the launch of a report into mens health (Link HERE) with the Irish Cancer Society. The occasion was the launch of a report they had commissioned in conjunction with the Institute of Technology Carlow & the National Cancer Registry. I was a little puzzled initially when contacted and asked to speak – but after reading some of the details in the report and listening to the other speakers, it became clear.
If I was asked “what causes cancer?” the first two things I would say would be smoking & genetics. I wouldn’t be far wrong, but I was amazed to hear that a huge percentage of cancer is fat related.
Research shows that high levels of body fat are associated with an increasing number of cancers, It is projected that by 2015, 33% of all men in Ireland will be clinically obese. Men tend to put on fat around our belly, but that is the visible representation of the issue, called subcutaneous fat. The real issue is visceral fat or the fat around our organs, inside our body that causes most concern with fat related cancers. Todays report highlighted research on European levels which indicates that 17% of male Colon Cancer, 21% of male Lung Cancer and 14% of male Prostate cancer could be prevented if the male population engaged in sufficient levels of physical activity.
They are staggering statistics, we are not talking about giving up smoking or never having a pint again (though that would help) just ‘sufficient levels of physical activity’. Thats not training 5 times a week, running a marathon or completing a triathlon, that is taking the stairs instead of a lift, getting off the bus one stop early, or taking half your lunch hour to go for a walk.
This week is Mens Health Week 2013, it ends next Sunday which is Fathers day – take this opportunity to go visit your GP, talk to a friend or see a professional. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength that you have decided to take control of your life and your future.
EDIT – I’ve just been sent through some photos of the day…