Raising Awareness about Men’s Health
It’s November – which means it’s time for all the men out there to ditch your razor and grow a moustache to help raise awareness about men’s health. Prostate cancer in particular, is the main beneficiary of the Movember campaign as it is the most common cancer in men effecting more than 3 million men ever year, worldwide.
Prostate cancer begins in the prostate gland, which sits between the penis and the bladder and develops when specific changes occur.There are often no symptoms during the early stages of prostate cancer, whichis why it is so important to know your risk.
Doctors do not know exactly why prostate cancer occurs, however certain risk factors may increase the chances of developing it.
- Age- The risk increases with age, particularly after age 50.
- Ethnicity– For reasons not yet understood, prostate cancer is much more common in men of African Caribbean or African descent.
- Family history– This is more likely when there are more men in the family with prostate cancer, the more closely related they are, and younger they were when diagnosed.
- Body weight and diet– being very overweight (obese) may increase the risk of having a more advanced prostate cancer. A diet high in animal fats may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Symptoms of prostate cancer– When you should consult your doctor.
Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra).
When this happens, you may notice things like:
- Increased need to urinate
- Feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied
- Difficulty starting / maintaining urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful urination
- Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
- Pain or discomfort when sitting, if the prostate is enlarged
These symptoms do not mean you have prostate cancer but should not be ignored.
Ways that may help reduce your risk of Prostate Cancer:
There’s no proven prostate cancer prevention strategy. But you may reduce your risk of prostate cancer by making healthy choices, such as eating a healthy diet, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables and exercising. It is also important to consult your GP with any risk factors or symptoms.