Wednesday, September 21, 2005


What about the men?

I welcome the Labour party's calls for free breast cancer screening to be made available to women throughout Ireland.

Labour health spokeswoman Liz McManus accused the Government of breaking its promises on the roll-out of Breastcheck across the country and promised to hold the Minister for Health to account over the issue.

Speaking at the Labour Party’s parliamentary meeting in Clonmel, Ms McManus said around 650 women die from breast cancer in Ireland each year.

"A sizeable number of these deaths could be prevented if periodic screening and diagnosis identifies the problem early enough," she said.

But the health spokeswoman said BreastCheck – the free cancer screening service – was only available in certain parts of the country.

"To deny women breast cancer screening because of their geographical location is unethical and unfair," the Wicklow TD said.

I agree with Ms McManus and I support calls for free breast cancer screening for women throughout Ireland, but I have just one question - what about men?

Testicular cancer is also a real danger. I don't know the figures myself but I'm sure it claims a substantial amount of lives each year.

Men are perhaps more unlikely to get themselves checked out by a doctor than women. I think if there was a way to facilitate free screening for testicular cancer, it would benefit lots and lots of Irish men.

Come on, Labour. Don't dismiss this important issue.


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