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Thursday 2 October 2014

Jackson urges men to talk health

Published 17/06/2013 | 20:42

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Samuel L Jackson speaks at the launch of the 'One For the Boys' charity

Samuel L Jackson has urged men to be more open about their health problems in an attempt to tackle cancer.

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The Pulp Fiction star, who is fronting a new charity called One For The Boys, believes men should talk more about the disease and other illnesses.

Jackson, 64, said: "Guys don't talk about their health issues, unless they've got a sprained ankle. We'll talk about our injuries but we won't talk about our illnesses, so I think it's time we do that."

The actor said he was motivated to put his weight behind the charity after friends had secretly dealt with cancer without telling anybody.

He said: "When they started talking about it, I realised most guys don't talk to other guys about what their medical conditions are - especially cancer conditions.

"And most guys think the only cancer guys get is prostate cancer, or they look at televisions and see it as basically a woman's problem, but it's not. So I realised that we do really need to make men aware of the fact that cancer is a very serious thing for guys."

One For The Boys was founded by events organiser Sofia Davis to challenge men's understanding of cancers and their tendency to have a more laissez-faire approach to their health.

All money raised will go towards the Royal Marsden Hospital in London to buy new MRI scanners for cancer diagnosis.

In recent weeks, Angelina Jolie has revealed she had a double mastectomy because she has a higher chance of developing breast cancer, and Michael Douglas has spoken about his throat cancer being caused by the HPV virus after having oral sex.

Asked what effect celebrities can have on people's perception of the disease, he said: "I don't know that what we say has more weight than anything else, but Angelina's declaration and allowing people to understand that she did that will maybe get some other women or some other person to look at their bodies and go in and go, 'Ok, well maybe I do need to do this too, or I need to get checked.'"

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