Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Segal, M.D.
As we exit from October’s breast cancer awareness month, we enter November to awareness of life-threatening health issues for Men. The Movember charity started back in 2004 but took worldwide attention in 2007 using a mustache as the movement’s driving symbol. Movember focuses on the three critical areas of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health & suicide prevention.
The prostate is a gland only found in men, located under the bladder, allowing the urethra to pass through carrying either sperm or urine. Prostate Cancer is one of the second leading causes of cancer for men, just behind lung cancer.
Signs & Symptoms include:
- A need to urinate frequently, often at night
- Difficulty beginning urination or holding back urine
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty having an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
At age 50, the doctor begins to check for prostate abnormalities as a part of their annual physical exam. The most appropriate test to screen for prostate cancer is a PSA test, starting at the age of 50. However, if you’re African American or have a family history, it should begin at age 45. PSA’s sensitivity and specificity are debated among physicians; however, it is safer to get one rather than not getting one.
- Active Surveillance
- Hormone Therapy
Testicular cancer is a reasonably uncommon medical condition. About 1 of every 250 males will develop testicular cancer at some point during their lifetime. However, since cancer can be easily treated, one would rarely pass away from it. According to The American Cancer Society, there are about 9,610 new cases and nearly 440 deaths from testicular cancer.
Diagnosis of testicular cancer occurs with a physical examination of the testes. If you’ve been diagnosed with testicular cancer, the most critical step is to talk to your doctor about treatment choices.
Overall, Movember is a month to celebrate masculinity healthily. Much like how other health trends have transpired over the years, men’s health can often get overlooked.