Movember, saving lives this November

28 October 2019

November brings us ‘Movember’, a month to discuss men’s health. We spoke with Consultant Urologist, Mr Jacques Roux, about the importance of self-examination.

As the leaves take on a warm bronze and the darkness settling in we are reminded that the year is rapidly entering its final quarter. In November we are encouraged to pause and take a moment to reflect on men’s health.  

It gives me a sense of satisfaction to witness an attitude of openness from men now more able and encouraged to discuss their health and talk about matters that, only a generation ago, was not a topic of discussion.

Movember not only focuses on prostate and testicular cancer it also emphasises the importance of mental health and suicide prevention in men. Where prostate cancer is more prevalent in older men, testicular cancer typically occurs in men in their 20s to 40s.

All young men should be educated to check themselves regularly and report any testicular lumps to their GP. An urgent referral to a urology specialist should be made if cancer cannot be ruled out. It is especially important for men with previous undescended testes, sub fertility or a family history of testes cancer to self examine.

With prostate cancer, the symptoms and signs are more subtle and most times there are none. Men over 50 should be sensitive to any change in their urinary stream or frequency. Although a benign prostate is more prevalent with increased age this may be one of the first signs of something brewing. See and discuss this with your general practitioner who will be well aware of the 1 in 8 risk of prostate cancer that has become the most common cancer in men (except skin cancers). A family history of prostate cancer and being of African ethnicity does increase the risk of prostate cancer. 

Most testicular cancers require surgery and some patients have chemotherapy depending on the type and stage of cancer with excellent survival rates.

Prostate cancer can be monitored or treated with surgery or radiotherapy. Hormones (testosterone suppression) and chemotherapy are used in advanced cases. Diagnostics and treatment have come along leaps and bounds because of significant investment in research. We are diagnosing prostate cancer much earlier and accurately. In the metastatic hormone resistant group survival rates are improving.

We scan most cancers to detect and decide on treatment. There are unfortunately no scans to detect mental health issues that can lead to suicide. The signs are very subtle and is usually related to changes in mood and behaviour. Be aware of the symptoms that may be present in people you have close or regular contact with. Similar to being more open with our physical health, I encourage people to talk about their mental health and wellbeing. Suicide remains one of the top 10 diseases that kill men in our modern times.

If you’re worried about something you’ve found, book in to see Mr Roux today by calling our friendly self-pay team on 01582 788 412.

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