Movember is the time to talk about men's health

It’s good to talk – especially when it can help save thousands of lives!

The Movember movement first launched in Australia in 2003 with focus on men’s health issues is generally considered to be an international success. But it seems far too many men are still keeping their health worries to themselves.

“It is well known that men tend to keep things bottled up when it comes to medical issues,” said Consultant Urologist, Professor Matin Sheriff “But that really is the worst thing they can do. I just hope that popular awareness campaigns like Movember can get people talking and taking action.”

Prostate and Testicular cancers are responsible for significant number of deaths amongst men.  However, Professor Sheriff, who practices at Spire Alexandra Hospital in Kent, states both are very treatable especially if they are diagnosed early.  “The key to successful treatment is early diagnosis and that is down to men facing up to the fact that they might have a problem and seeking medical help as soon as possible,” he explained.

“Campaigns such as Movember and Men United do great work getting the ‘conversations’ started but, in the end, it is down to the individuals to take action and make that appointment with their GP.”

Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men with over 41,000 new cases diagnosed in the UK every year, claiming approximately 10,500 lives while around 2,300 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed annually.  Men over 50 years of age are most likely to develop prostate cancer whereas it is men aged from 25 to 49 who are most at risk from testicular cancer.

Professor Sheriff added: “Although there are no specific symptoms or signs relating to prostate cancer the following should prompt men to seek further assessment:  family history of prostate cancer, difficulty in passing urine or increased frequency, including at night and feeling of not completely emptying with associated dribbling.

“However, if you are concerned even in the absence of symptoms, my advice is to go and get yourself checked out once you reach 50. It’s a simple examination that could be followed by a blood test - there is no need to be frightened or embarrassed.”

Symptoms for testicular cancer include lump in a testicle, which is usually painless but can be painful.

“Once again men seem to find it difficult to discuss this with others but swift action really can save lives” said Professor Sheriff.

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