01 November 2018
Men are being urged to talk the talk and walk the walk, to highlight health issues that are causing thousands of premature deaths in the UK.
It is part of this year’s Movember campaign, where men grow moustaches to encourage awareness of killer diseases such as prostate and testicular cancer as well as poor mental health.
Now they are also being asked to become ‘a walking, talking advertisement’ to show that taking early action really can save lives.
Besides having open conversations with friends and family, men are also being challenged to run or walk 60 kilometres throughout the month.
Campaigners are saying: “Stay connected and keep talking. Your mates are important and spending time with them is good for you.”
But this year they are also laying down the Make A Move challenge, saying that adding an activity to your day can have great benefits to both mental and physical wellbeing.
You don’t have to be an ultra-athlete, just make more time for physical activity. Take the stairs instead of the lift, cycle to work or get off the bus two stops earlier! You could even start up a walking group and get your friends involved – and let everyone know why you are doing it!
Mr Peter Acher a Consultant Urological Surgeon at Spire Wellesley Hospital said: “The key to successful treatment is down to men facing up to the fact that they might have a problem and seeking medical help as soon as possible.
“It is well known that men tend to keep things bottled up when it comes to medical issues but that really is the worst thing they can do.”
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 it is men aged from 15 to 49 who are most at risk from testicular cancer.
Mr Acher added: “Early prostate cancer may have no symptoms so don’t wait for them to appear. If you are 50 years old you should be getting yourself checked. That age drops to 45 if you are black or have a father or brother who has had prostate cancer. You should also be aware that having a family history of breast cancer is also a strong risk factor.
“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 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 with others but swift action really can save lives. Don’t wait until it becomes painful, act as soon as you discover a lump, it really can mean the difference between successful and non-successful treatment, and testicular lumps can be assessed by a painless ultrasound.” said Mr Acher.
“Hopefully the Movember campaign in all its forms will result in more men coming forward for check-ups that could save their lives. The earlier these are caught; they are easier to treat with very high survival rates if detected early”