Prostate cancer campaign turns 11


Blue november. This is the name of the awareness campaign about the prostate cancersecond type of cancer most common among men, second only to skin cancer.

Held annually in November, the mobilization is made up of different types of actions. Sharing information aims to alert the population about the importance of early diagnosis.

The campaign inspirations came from both the Pink October as for Movember. The first is the breast cancer awareness campaign. And the second is an initiative from Australia, created in 2003, on prostate cancer.

It was the Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida that started to organize the Blue November here. Brasil Escola spoke with the founder and president of the organization, Marlene Oliveira, to learn more about this mobilization and how the actions are carried out.

Also know: Tumor is cancer? Definitions and main questions

Side by Side for Life Institute

Founded in 2008, Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida is a social organization focused on men’s health in the context of the two main causes of mortality in Brazil (cardiovascular diseases and cancer).

Between 2008 and 2010, the organization carried out the campaign “One touch, one dribble”. The initiative was aimed at men’s health and the importance of early detection of prostate cancer. With the intention of making a nationalized movement, in 2011, the Blue November was created.

Marlene Oliveira, founder and president of Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida.
Credit: Disclosure.

One of the main goals of the Blue November campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of prostate cancer. In other words, encourage men to regularly undergo detection tests so that if there is any change, continue with the treatment.

The chance of healing tumor in case of early identification it can reach 90%highlights Marlene Oliveira.

“What has happened is that men arrive at the health system at a very advanced stage of the disease. This causes these men to not be as successful in treatment as they would have been at an early stage.”

Marlene Oliveira, founder and president of Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida

The actions of the Blue November campaign are carried out where men are and circulate, emphasizes Marlene. The spaces are diverse, such as football stadiums, in companies, institutions, civil construction, press, transport and public environments, among others.

One of the institute’s concerns is to work informative messages for the different stages of a man’s life, from childhood to maturity. “Our objective is to make the next generations take care of their health in a different way from what has happened”, says Marlene Oliveira.

Regarding the negligence of men in relation to their own health, Marlene considers that it is necessary to “break down cultural walls” and create bridges of dialogue in order to achieve effective changes.

Public health

The relationship with the Unified Health System (SUS), according to Marlene, takes place in the dialogues established with the government. These dialogues act to strengthen primary health care.

Marlene argues about the need for these spaces to be prepared to receive the population. In addition to the appropriate reception, it is essential that the service provides the process of treatment and follow-up of cases.

One of the topics discussed is the extension of opening hours to facilitate men’s access to these services. This change would make it easier for most users who have availability at alternative hours to business hours.

Last year, a study carried out by the Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida pointed out that 62% of men only seek the public health service when they are in severe pain.

Marlene also points out the importance of preventive actions as a mechanism to avoid high costs in public service.


In addition to the Blue November, the institution carries out an awareness campaign in August “Breathe August” about lung cancer. In September, actions and activities focus on the campaign “Follow your heart” on cardiovascular diseases.

The institute’s president mentions that throughout the other months of the year, the action is directed at changing men’s habits as a way of preventing these diseases.

LAL Research Center

The LAL Research Center was created in 2019 and is part of the projects developed and applied by Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida.

The objective is to carry out mapping and data collection on the fronts defended by the organization: cancer, cardiovascular diseases and men’s health.

The productions developed in this nucleus are used for decision-making in the development of public policies.

Marlene mentions the partnership that the Institute has with academic leagues for Medicine. According to her, the intention of this approach is to provoke cultural changes in the work of future doctors.

Also check: Advances in cancer treatment

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer affects the gland called prostate which is located below the bladder and which surrounds the urethra.

Every 38 minutes a man dies from prostate cancer in Brazilaccording to data from National Cancer Institute (Inca). This is the most common type of tumor among those over 50.

Last year alone, there were 16,055 fatalities from the disease, according to the Ministry of Health’s Mortality Information System.

Information board on prostate cancer indicates symptoms, screening tests, risk factors and prevention
Healthy habits reduce the chances of developing prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is responsible for 10% of all cancer deaths in the country. It is the second deadliest among men, behind lung cancer.

The Inca projects about 65,000 new cases of this type of cancer this year.

Read more – Abnormal multiplication of cells known as neoplasia

When to have the prostate exam?

Tests to detect prostate cancer (digital rectal examination and PSA measurement) can be performed from the age of 40 in people with a family history of the disease as well as in African-Americans, since the tumor is more common in black men.

In other cases, men may seek these tests from the age of 45.

See the positives and negatives of these exams, according to Inca:


  • Simple to make;
  • Contribute to early diagnosis;
  • Facilitates treatment in case of early detection.


  • The PSA test result can be elevated even in non-cancer cases, as well as normal in malignant tumor cases;
  • High PSA levels indicate the need for a prostate biopsy, and in many cases, the cancer is unconfirmed;
  • The biopsy can cause bleeding and infection, pain, anxiety and stress;
  • The diagnosis and treatment of a non-threatening tumor can generate anxiety and lead to urinary incontinence and sexual impotence.

Read too: Obesity and cardiovascular disease

Don’t stop now… There’s more after the publicity 😉

Blue november

The motto adopted in the 2022 Blue November campaign is #blueness. The intention is to alert men to have an attitude and be protagonists of their health.

National Congress illuminated in blue at night
National Congress Building in Brasília (DF) with blue lighting in reference to Blue November.*

In 2021, the campaign completed 10 years of existence. Check out some actions taken last year:

  • Lightings throughout Brazil in blue, such as Christ the Redeemer and the National Congress;
  • Exhibition on subway lines;
  • 10 Years November Blue Exhibition at the Federal Senate;
  • Exhibition at Shopping Top Center in São Paulo (SP);
  • Wash Dito Cujo (penile hygiene awareness content).

More than 82 million people were impacted with the Blue November campaign in 2020. In this edition, 1,500 lectures were held and 610 companies from all over the country were engaged in the initiative.


At the Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida portal there are different materials such as booklets, articles, research and online debates.

To answer different types of questions about cancers, chronic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, mental health, sexuality, among other matters, the institution has the 0800 LAL service channel.

Contact phone: 0800 222 2224

by Lucas Afonso

image credit:

* Adilson Sochodolak / shutterstock

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