A look at prostate cancer and men’s health
Movember, a combination of ‘Mo’ (Australian slang for moustache) and ‘November’, is an annual event in which men grow moustaches to raise money and awareness for men’s health.
Men are generally less involved in their healthcare than women, and may be uncomfortable discussing health concerns with their loved ones and doctors. Furthermore, some conditions such as breast cancer and osteoporosis are considered ‘women’s diseases’ although they can also afflict men. The Movember campaign is a good start for opening the lines of communication about conditions that affect men. By growing a (often out-dated and humorous) moustache, men who participate in Movember are breaking the ice and bringing men’s health to the forefront of awareness.
Movember first started with the aim of raising awareness about prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men, claiming approximately 11 of our grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews and sons every day.
Risk factors for prostate cancer include:
- Age. Men over the age of 65 are more likely to have prostate cancer.
- African ancestry.
- Family history.
Early signs and symptoms of prostate cancer are rare. Since part of the male urinary tract runs through the prostate, changes to it, like enlargement, may alter the ability to pass urine. The following changes should be noted and discussed with a physician:
- A more urgent or frequent need to pass urine
- A decrease in urine flow
- A burning sensation or pain during urination
- A need to get up during the night to urinate
Elevated blood level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) can be used as a screening tool for abnormalities. PSA level can be assessed via a simple blood test. As a result, it is important to have regular physical examinations.
For more information about Movember please visit Movember Canada.
For more information about prostate cancer please visit Prostate Cancer Canada.