LETTER: Time to get talking about prostrate cancer

You may have seen me on the TV last month.

Not in my usual guise as a comedian, actor, purveyor of whimsy, but in an advert talking about prostate cancer.

I read an article about the number of men affected by prostate cancer and was shocked by the figures.

Being a bloke of about the age when the prostate can start to be an issue, I felt compelled to back this campaign.

Blokes are not always good at taking care of themselves, and even if they know they have a health problem they often don’t want to talk about it.

I am guilty of this myself. A typical bloke self-diagnosis is: “Ignore it, and hopefully it will go away.”

I want the launch of the Sledgehammer Fund to help change that.

I hope the advert I’ve made for Prostate Cancer UK will get men talking about prostate cancer like women talk about breast cancer.

I also want to help raise vital money for research because there is an urgent need for better ways of diagnosing prostate cancer and improved methods of treating the disease, so the deadlier tumours are caught before it’s too late.

My father-in-law was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was treated and is now clear and leading a full life, so it can be done. However, more than 10,000 men every year in the UK are not so lucky.

Cancer can be a difficult subject to talk about, but maybe that’s where comedy can help. Humour is sometimes an effective way of broaching tricky subjects, and to get a serious message under the radar.

By getting the conversation going, I hope this campaign will help Prostate Cancer UK give men a better chance of beating this disease.

If you see this advert and want to find out more about prostate cancer or make a donation, then for me it has been a success.

To quote myself from the advert: “Do yourself a favour, do your Dad a favour, do your son a favour, do mankind a favour… and get giving. Help us crack prostate cancer once and for all.”

Thank you for your support.

BILL BAILEY,

Hammersmith,

London