With 11 men in Northern Ireland diagnosed with cancer every day, and boys as young as 15 vulnerable to testicular cancer, a new campaign is urging them to Get A Grip on their health.
Leading local charity Action Cancer is offering 700 free MOT health checks for men province-wide as part of its Action Man campaign -- due to begin in June. The move by Action Cancer is aimed at encouraging men of all ages not to shy away from GP check-ups if they suspect or feel something is not right with their health.
Male-specific cancers such as testicular and prostate cancers can be treated, but early detection is essential.
Malachy Nixon, Action Cancer's male health promotion officer, says: "Every year in Northern Ireland there are approximately 4,000 men diagnosed with cancer -- that's 11 men every day.
"Although men are 16% more likely to develop cancer than women, they are 40% more likely to die from the disease.
"This has been attributed to poor lifestyle choices such as an unhealthy diet and taking less exercise, and reluctance to discuss personal health matters."
Mr Nixon warns, though: "By not monitoring their health they are at a higher chance of not detecting cancer or other serious conditions at an early, and hopefully more treatable, stage of the disease."
The MOT healthchecks provide men with a snapshot of their general health, which will enable them to make good choice about their diet, drinking, smoking and exercise habits.
While the checks are not a diagnosis of cancer, they measure blood pressure, cholesterol and other factors, along with lifestyle advice and information on male-specific cancers.
Rugby star Chris Henry, who is backing the campaign, says: "By paying more attention to our health, and approaching our GPs if we have any concerns, we can actively help to keep ourselves fighting fit."
Here, three sufferers tell their stories of how cancer changed their lives.
Richard Clarke (33) plays for Portadown Football Club and lives in Castlederg with wife Karen and children Abbie (4) and four-month-old Emily. He says:
Back in March 2012 I was playing in a match against Coleraine. When play had stopped the goalkeeper kicked a ball out that hit me where it hurt, making me fall to the ground.
On later examination I noticed a lump on my testicle. I kept on playing during the season but did notice that it was getting bigger and I had a few pains in my abdomen.
Two months later I was at my GP's for something unrelated and was asked if there was anything else concerning me. Although I was embarrassed, I asked him to check the lump on my testicle.