Prostate charity in 'G-spot' drive

KIRSTEN DOWNER

The Prostate Cancer Charity launched a major awareness campaign today which aims to cut cancer deaths by promoting the prostate's role as the male G-spot.

The campaign, called Planet Prostate, revolves around a new web-based computer game www.planetprostate.com, backed up by an email campaign, that is expected to reach at least 5,000 people within a month.

Designed to appeal to the 25-40 age group, the computer game explains the crucial biological role of the prostate gland in sex in a competitive and fun way.

Awareness of where the prostate gland is and what it does is the first step in disease prevention, said the charity's spokeswoman Katie Easter.

Next year it will build on this awareness with a campaign concentrating on symptoms and prevention, but this drive will emphasise the role of the prostate in sperm production and as the "male G-spot

to get coverage in men's publications such as Loaded, GQ, FHM, Maxim and Esquire.

"These magazines tend to deal with health issues from a sex perspective - it's the only way most men will read it,

said Easter. The charity also plans to target women through glossy magazines such as Top Sante, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan since most men only check out prostate health problems because their female partners push them to do so.

Research shows that public awareness of the condition is low despite 20,000 men being diagnosed with and 10,000 killed by prostate cancer each year.

Prostate cancer has a much lower profile than testicular cancer, for example, which affects 1,000 men a year. "This is because testicular cancer will affect younger men, so it gets more coverage. Prostate cancer is seen as an older man's disease. We needed to find a way of engaging a younger audience,

said Easter.

Now the charity plans to work the same magic as the breast cancer movement which has successfully raised awareness of breast health with a younger audience over the past few years.

"Most women get breast cancer in their late fifties and sixties, just the same as prostate cancer, and yet the movement has made young women aware of their breasts and that things can go wrong later on,

said Easter.

"That's no different from what we're trying to do."

The game, styled on Nintendo Gameboy Space Invaders and devised by creative agency Publicis, takes under five minutes to play and involves central character Sammy the Sperm as he tries to reach Planet Prostate in order to escape the masculine solar system.

Players have to successfully negotiate their way through five different levels correlating with the biological process.

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