01 November 2017
The Movember movement – publicising men’s health issues – has been an international success since it was launched in Australia back in 2003. 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 Urological Surgeon Mr Terry Chen. “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”.
Two of the biggest ‘men only’ killers are prostate and testicular cancer but, said Mr Chen, who practices at Spire South Bank Hospital in Worcester, both are very treatable if they are diagnosed early.
“The key to successful treatment really 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.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of 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 men aged from 25 to 49 are most at risk from testicular cancer.
Mr Chen also added: “There are certain signs that should raise alarm bells around prostate cancer. These include difficulty passing urine or passing urine more frequently than usual, especially at night. Also the feeling of not completely emptying your bladder or having to rush to the toilet to pass urine”.
“However, my advice is not to wait for symptoms but 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 embarrassed”.
Symptoms for testicular cancer include swelling or a lump in a testicle, which is usually painless but can become painful as it increases in size or a dull ache or pain, or heaviness in the scrotum.
“Once again men seem to find it difficult to discuss this but swift action really can save lives. Act as soon as you discover a lump, it really can mean the difference between successful and non-successful treatment,” he said.