November is here, and so is the annual Movember campaign.
What is the Movember campaign?
Movember is a combination of “mo” that is short for moustache and “November.” It is an annual event where participants grow moustaches to raise awareness on men’s health conditions such as testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and men’s suicide.
This innovative campaign is organised by the Movember Foundation, a global charity with a sole focus on men’s health.
What can you do this Movember?
Schedule a prostate cancer screening test: The Prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that is part of the male reproductive system which produces a type of fluid that nourishes the sperm. Prostate cancer is increasingly common among Indian males, and has a high chance of cure when it is detected at an early stage. The initial symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Difficulty in urination
- Frequent urination
- Urge to urinate frequently at night
- a weak flow when you urinate
- a feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
These symptoms are often mistaken to be signs of aging.
The age to initiate a discussion about prostate cancer screening depends on the patient’s risk for prostate cancer. Race, age, and family history are used to identify whether a man is at a higher or average risk for prostate cancer. Among men who pose average-risk and high-risk, it is recommended to initiate a discussion of screening at the age of 50 and 40 years respectively. This Movember, if you or your loved ones are above the age of 40 to 50 years, schedule a prostate cancer screening.
Self-exam for testicular cancer: Testicular cancer develops in one or both of the testicles, the male reproductive glands. The incidence of testicular cancer is low and, although increasing over recent decades, accounts for only about 1 percent of cancers in men.
The good news is that testicular tumors are easy to detect like breast cancer with self-examination. Usual recommendations do not suggest routine screening of asymptomatic males for testicular cancer with either self-examination or periodic clinical examination.
The low incidence and high cure rate of testicular cancer make it unlikely that screening for testicular cancer would appreciably decrease the cancer mortality rate.
Although, periodic palpation of the testes may detect testicular cancer before noticeable symptoms occur. If you have never done a self-exam before, this Movember, you can start monthly self-examinations by following these steps:
Following are the steps of how to self examine your testicles:
- The penis has to be held out and each testicle has to be examined separately.
- Roll your testicles gently between your fingers.
- Observe, feel and look out for lumps, nodules or any changes in shape, size or consistency of the testicles.
- On seeing any such abnormalities, consult a doctor immediately.
Support cancer research: Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Movember Foundation support path-breaking research in prostate and testicular cancers. If you or your loved one has survived prostate or testicular cancer, or if you want to volunteer in contributing to the research, you can take action this Movember by making a donation to these foundations.
Begin an exercise program: Whether you are a testicular or prostate cancer survivor, or if you are looking to enhance your overall health, exercising on appropriate levels according to your age and physical conditions is important. If you are otherwise healthy, begin a brisk walking regimen and try to add some amount of jogging.
Quit smoking: Tobacco has been linked to various cancers and recent research indicates smoking not only increases the risk of developing an aggressive type of prostate cancer in patients, but also increases the mortality rate. Additionally, there is a 151% higher risk of cancer spreading in smokers. Movember is the right month to quit smoking and adopt a healthy lifestyle that can help you reduce the risks of cancer.
As a measure to support the Movember cause, let us be open in discussing the problems surrounding prostate and testicular cancer, and spread awareness on the dos and don’ts in preventing it. If you or anyone you know is diagnosed with prostate cancer, our care managers and our team of expert oncologists are there to guide with the best treatment options. Reach out to us here!