Movember is a month long event, held in November during which men across the world grow out their facial hair with a view to raising awareness regarding prostate cancer. During this time, men are encouraged to openly discuss matters to do with men’s health and general wellness. It is hoped that by talking, the stigma surrounding prostate cancer can be lifted and more men will take charge of their well being.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate — a small nut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men in Kenya and across the world.
What are some of the possible danger signs to look out for?
Prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms in its early stages. Many men live normal lives until the disease is quite far along. However, in its more advanced stages, it may cause signs and symptoms such as:
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine (Dribbling)
- Blood in semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer, like many varieties of cancer, has a genetic predisposition. This means that if men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased. Also, if you have a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or a very strong family history of breast cancer, your risk of prostate cancer may be higher.
Other risk factors that may contribute to your prostate cancer risk include:
- Age. Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you age.
- Race. For reasons not yet determined, black men carry a greater risk of prostate cancer than do men of otherraces. In black men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced.
- Smoking. Smoking tobacco has been shown to have a correlation with increased risk of cancer.
- Obesity. Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to have advanced disease that’s more difficult to treat.
Can I prevent it?
The good news is that there are pro-active steps that health conscious men can take to reduce their risk. For high risk individuals, annual screening (details below) can be significant in changing outcomes. Early detection will allow you options in treatment.
Beyond screening, lifestyle changes around weight management, elimination of tobacco use, improved quality of diet and increased exercise can reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer.
Should I get screened?
At MedLux International, our doctors recommend that all men begin talking to their healthcare providers about screening for prostate cancer from the age of forty. This is especially important if you have a family history of the disease.
Screening will involve a Digital Rectal Exam (known in medical circles as a “DRE”) by your doctor which is a form of physical examination to assess the possible enlargement of your prostate. Also available is a blood test for a hormone called Prostate – Specific Antigen (known as “PSA”) whose elevation may point towards an anomaly in your prostate.
Reach out to MedLux International for more services.
I hope that this article gave you an insight into the whole Movember Movement. If you enjoyed reading this, go ahead and share it with your friends and family, this information could save a life.
We would love to hear your feedback and answer any questions you may have. Send me an email on email@example.com
Dr. Noah Akala (M.B.Ch.B, M.B.A, M.P.A, M.P.H – 2020)