Sledgehammer fund: FAQ

Why are you campaigning now? What is the urgency?

Prostate cancer kills one man every hour and the number of men with the disease is rising at an alarming rate. While it is already the most common cancer in men, it is predicted to become the most common cancer of all in the UK by 2030.

Prostate cancer is as big an issue for men as breast cancer is for women. The two diseases are similar in terms of incidence, with one in eight women and one in nine men, respectively, diagnosed every year. Despite this, £42 million was spent on breast cancer research in 2010, while research into prostate cancer received £16 million - almost three times less.

To make the future truly better for men, we must mobilise and inspire many more supporters and funders. This campaign is a call to arms to bring people together to make a real difference. Together we can crack it.

Why should I get involved?

We need money to find the answers that can help more men survive. Money raised will also help us provide vital information and to continue to lead change, raising the profile of the disease and improving care.

What do you want people to do?

We want people to join us in a movement to crack this particular nut. Prostate cancer has been neglected for too long, and we need everyone to get behind this campaign. We really want people to talk about this disease. It really is Britain's best kept worst secret and we need everyone with us to get it out in the open. Prostate Cancer UK is also encouraging people to donate £5 to the Sledgehammer Fund and find out more about the disease on our website.

What do you want men in particular to do?

We need men to take control of their health and find out more. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, so they need to be aware of it, particularly men over 50, African Caribbean men and those with a family history, who are all at increased risk of the disease.

We want men to know that if they need support, Prostate Cancer UK is here for them. They can find out more about the disease on our website.

How long does the campaign last?

The Sledgehammer Fund took place from 1 January until 31 March 2013.

Is the Sledgehammer Fund raising money for something specific?

The Sledgehammer Fund is raising money to support Prostate Cancer UK and all its work to fight prostate cancer and support men confronting the disease. Prostate Cancer UK finds answers by funding research; supports men and provides vital information; and leads change, raising the profile of the disease and improving care.  

Here's what a donation could buy:

  • £25 could give a man diagnosed with prostate cancer unlimited time to talk over treatment options with one of our Specialist Nurses.
  • £100 will pay for the production of 5,000 information leaflets, which could help us reach and protect 5,000 men - or more.
  • £500 could pay for two GPs to be trained at one of our prostate cancer masterclasses.
  • £1,000 could support a week's worth of research into treating advanced prostate cancer.

How much money do you expect to raise?

While raising money is an essential element, the first purpose of the campaign is to create mass awareness of the issues surrounding prostate cancer in order to make it a cause worth investing in. We know this make take some time, which is why we are committed to investing in communications over a three year period.

What are the adverts all about?

The leading idea is that although the prostate is as small as a walnut, it's a hard nut to crack and it's going to take a sledgehammer to do that. A series of hard-hitting TV, digital and print adverts appeared in national media from 1 January to 31 March 2013.

Our campaign is set to reach up to 96 per cent of men and women aged over 45 across the UK. And those people will have the opportunity to see or hear the adverts over eight times! Therefore, urgent information about prostate cancer should reach nearly all the men in the UK who are at a high risk of developing prostate cancer, and their families. The adverts and the accompanying press activity is set to inform many thousands more men about prostate cancer and raise much more money for all our vital work.

If people have any concerns or questions about prostate cancer, what should they do?

If anyone has any questions or concerns about prostate cancer, please call our Prostate Cancer UK helpline, which is staffed by specialist nurses, on 0800 074 8383.

Tell us what you think about our campaign at web@prostatecanceruk.org.