November is also referred to as “Movember”, a movement created to help raise awareness for men’s health. This is a great time to encourage your fathers, brothers, uncles, partners, and friends to be familiar with possible health issues that could affect them, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, physical health, and mental health. In honor of Movember, we encourage all men around the world to get screened for prostate and testicular cancer– two cancers that can be treated with early detection.
Below we’ve provided a variety of health tips and resources for all the men in your lives.
- Schedule regular checkups with your provider to stay on top of your health. By scheduling routine exams, health problems may be identified earlier.
- Know your family history and be sure to share it with your doctor.
- Stay connected with family and friends to help reduce stress and to create a support system.
- Seek help for your mental health.
- If you are feeling depressed and need help, call 911 or visit a nearby emergency room. When you can, call your own doctor and discuss your situation. Be sure to ask for help!
- If you are feeling suicidal, call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor.
- Know your body and if something feels off, contact your doctor.
- Know the signs of a heart attack. Major signs include:
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back
- Feeling weak, lightheaded or faint
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulders
- Shortness of breath
- Eat healthy by incorporating healthy fruits and vegetables into your diet. Vitamins and minerals can help protect you from chronic diseases.
- Exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Time to get moving! Improve your mood and mental health by finding fun ways to be active with family and friends.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night! Poor sleep habits could put you at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, depression, erectile dysfunction and obesity.
- Wear sunscreen to protect yourself against skin cancers.
- Do NOT smoke! Make the decision to quit or encourage the men in your lives to quit. Quitting will help reduce your chances of developing certain kinds of cancers.
Prostate and Testicular Health
Prostate and testicular cancers account for a large percentage of cancer morbidity in men in the United States.
While 1 in 7 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, approximately only 1 in 30 will die. This low mortality rate is due to the slow growing nature of many prostate cancers and the use of PSA screenings as a way to detect the disease in its early stages.
Risk factors for prostate cancer include age and family history. The average age of diagnosis is 66, while most cases are diagnosed in men 65-74 years of age. Prostate cancer also has the highest familial cancer rate of all cancers with a rate of 20.2%.
Testicular cancer is much less common when compared to prostate cancer. However, it is the most diagnosed cancer in men ages 15-35 but can be diagnosed at any age.
Warning Signs and Screening for Prostate and Testicular Cancers:
In rare cases, prostate cancer may cause symptoms:
- Need to urinate frequently or difficulty starting or holding back
- Weak, dribbling flow, or painful burning urination
- Difficulty having an erection
- Painful ejaculation or decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
- Blood in urine or semen
- Pressure or pain in the rectum, lower back, hips, pelvis or thighs
There are 2 primary ways to screen for prostate cancer:
- Digital rectal exam
- PSA test
Learn more about prostate cancer by watching our webinar
Our prostate cancer experts explain:
- Prostate cancer screenings
- Imaging tests
- Novel treatment options including SpaceOAR Hydrogel and Focal One High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
- Testosterone replacement after prostate cancer
Possible signs of testicular cancer:
- Painless lump or swelling in either testicle
- Pain, discomfort or numbness in a testicle or the scrotum
- Change in the way a testicle feels or heaviness in the scrotum
- Dull ache in lower abdomen or groin
- Buildup of fluid in the scrotum
- Breast tenderness or growth
- Lower back pain, shortness of breath, chest pain or bloody sputum
- Swelling of one or both legs or shortness of breath from a blood clot
Perform a testicular self-exam:
- Monthly testicular self-exams after a warm shower
- The following link will provide information on how to perform a self-exam: https://www.testicularcancerawarenessfoundation.org/self-exam
Early Detection and Screening
Prostate and testicular cancer are two cancers that can be treated with early detection. Do your part this “Movember” and spread the word about getting screened. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above or if you have questions regarding your health, schedule an appointment at our Urology and Urologic Oncology Center.