Your Doctor

Movember

MEN – LOOK AFTER YOURSELF THIS MOVEMBER!

Movember is an annual event involving men growing a moustache during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer as well as men's suicide. The idea is to donate money through Movember.com that you might have otherwise spent on shaving or grooming to educate about cancers that affect men in particular.

One in eight men in the UK have experienced a mental health problem. Whilst more women are diagnosed with common mental health problems, the rate of male suicide is significantly higher suggesting men may not be receiving or asking for the help they need. We know that some men find it hard to talk about their feelings and issues that are seriously affecting them so Movember also encourages men to be aware of, and talk about, their physical (and mental) health.

Movember encourages men to check themselves regularly for any lumps or bumps that may be indicators of testicular cancer. 47% of men diagnosed with testicular cancer in the UK are under 35 years old. The difference between early detection and late detection can be a matter of life and death. If caught early, men have a 98% chance of beating the cancer but this drops to 25% if detected late. As GPs we often say if you notice a change in size or shape, a lump that wasn’t there before, or if your testicles become painful to touch, see a doctor. Don’t panic, but do get it checked out swiftly.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Over 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that's 129 men every day. Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – which is more than 11,000 men every year. When you're 50 you need to have a conversation with your doctor about PSA testing. If you are Afro-Caribbean or you have a family history of prostate cancer, get checked earlier at 45. 

There are four main potential indications of a prostate problem:-

• Frequency - urinating much more often than normal. 

• Urgency - having a sensation that you need to urinate immediately. 

• Nocturia - getting up to urinate multiple times during the night. 

• Hesitancy - difficulty starting the urine stream. 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, a simple PSA test may help to reassure you.

To reduce your risk of prostate cancer:-

1. Eat lots of varieties of vegetables, fruit and fish. Asian countries, where the diet contains more fruit vegetables and fish than in western diets, have lower cases of prostate cancer. 

2. Do thirty minutes of daily moderate exercise.

3. Drink less alcohol daily and avoid binges.

4. Reduce the amount of meat, dairy, sugar, fat and processed foods. Men who have a large intake of a vast amount of meat or high-fat fairy products appear to have greater chances of obtaining prostate cancer. It is said that these foods affect some of the hormone levels within the body and can encourage tumour expansion. 

Maintaining a healthy diet, taking regular exercise and having a healthy lifestyle will of course help your overall health in many other ways. Look after yourselves this Movember!