Movember is a significant annual event designed to spread awareness about men’s mental health issues involving prostate and testicular cancer. Men are notoriously hesitant to see a doctor, which often leads to later diagnosis of cancers, so raising awareness is vital.
This event includes the growing of moustaches from the 1st of November to the 30th to raise money to help fund research related to these health issues.
Testicular and prostate cancer are treatable at all stages. However, early detection remains key to survival, so a GP should look at any slight or sudden changes for further investigation.
Research has shown that prostate cancer is not linked to any preventable risk factors, for example, alcohol abuse or smoking. Instead, genetics and age are usually the two contributing factors of prostate cancer, which makes it hard to recognise through lifestyle patterns.
Over 90% of men who are 50 to 70 years old and are diagnosed with prostate cancer survive their disease for five years or more, whereas those diagnosed in their 80’s+ are two to three times more likely to succumb to the disease before five years. It is more common in men of African-Caribbean or African descent and less in men of Asian descent.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Around 36,000 new prostate cancers are diagnosed in the UK annually (about 25% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases in men).
What is a prostate gland?
The prostate gland is a small gland found in men that helps produce semen. The normal prostate is about the size of a walnut and sits between the neck of the bladder and the penis, with the urethra running through it.
As men age, it is normal for the prostate to get bigger; this is called benign prostatic hyperplasia. As it enlarges, it can press on the bladder, causing an increase in the frequency of urination at night, known as nocturia. But, again, this is normal as we age.
BPH is common in men over 50 and is usually treatable and not serious. However, it is vital to recognise these conditions’ early signs and see a doctor immediately if you are concerned.
How do I know if I have prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer typically affects men over 40, with research showing the rates of prostate cancer in the UK being highest in males over 75. Although it is not easy to identify through self-examination, warning signs could include:
- A “burning sensation” or pain while ejaculating or urinating.
- Struggling to stop or start urinating or dribbling.
- Increased frequency of urination, especially overnight.
- Blood in semen or urine.
- The feeling of an unempty bladder after urinating.
- Having a weak flow.
- Lower back pain.
You can learn more about the signs of prostate cancer and share this information with friends on this website.
How do I know if I have testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer occurs earlier in life; almost all men diagnosed with testicular cancer are between the ages of 15 and 50, compared to two-thirds of men diagnosed at 80 and over with prostate cancer. Despite this, testicular cancer is often not as common as prostate cancer, occurring in 1 in 200 males in the UK. Common symptoms of testicular cancer include:
- Swelling or a lump on either testicle.
- A heavy feeling or pulling sensation in the scrotum.
- An ache in the lower abdomen or groin.
- Swelling in the scrotum.
- Discomfort in the testicle.
- Lower abdomen pain.
You can learn more about the signs of testicular cancer and share this information with friends on this website.
How to check your prostate at home this Movember.
Unless your partner is happy to check your prostate, there is no easy way to self-check at home. We recommend that you have a blood test if you are concerned. Those at high risk should have a rectal exam and blood test yearly. During the rectal exam, we can feel if the prostate is enlarged, irregular or hard.
Here at Dr Cottrell’s clinic, we offer a bespoke men’s health cancer check-up appointment, which includes:
- A 30-minute consultation to discuss family history and risks to evaluate symptoms further.
- A Physical examination, which includes a testes or prostate check as appropriate for age.
- A blood test for prostate cancer if over 50 or testicular cancer if under 50.
For prepaid appointments booked for November, the cost for the screen has been reduced to £250 (usual price £410)
To secure your slot, choose the MOVEMBER men’s cancer check in the drop-down box. A blood test and physical exam can save your life. Don’t let embarrassment delay you in booking an appointment to see your doctor.