Men all over the world are busy spotting moustaches and beards in #NoShaveNovember to raise awareness of the various cancers that affect me. It is Movember after all, and if there ever was an oblivious gender, it is men. Here are the top cancers affecting men, all over the world and what you should do about it.
Testicular cancer is unusual: while the majority of cancers are most common in men in their 60s and 70s, the average age of diagnosis for testicular cancer is 32. The good news with testicular cancer is that it has a survival rate of 98%.
The greatest sign of testicular cancer, as with any other cancer, is the growth of a large mass in the testes. But what is sad is that most men hardly take this mass seriously, until it is quite late. So watch out gentlemen – that burgeoning growth is not an increase in your manhood, but may well be a sign of testicular cancer.
What you can do about it:
Know Thy Nuts
According to Professor Clare Turnbull, a senior researcher at the Institute of Cancer research and Movember ambassador, ‘‘The best place for an examination is in the bath or shower; because the warm water will relax the scrotum. He should compare one side to the other, rolling each one between his fingers, getting to know what his testes feel like normally, and use the other side as the yardstick for comparison.’ Encourage him to do a monthly self-examination. The bottom line?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with new victims every single day. This may be due to the fact that prostate cancer is one of those ‘silent killers’; the growing cancers that grow in the background and may never show any symptoms. Prostate cancer affects men over 65 years old on average but has an 83% survival rate if detected early.
What you can do about it:
Since it is a pretty silent disease, men just have to be on the lookout for different changes going on in their body.
For instance, a change in bathroom habits, such as the urge to go to the bathroom often, a weak flow of urine or a painful sensation when peeing. Prostate cancer is also known for its problems in the bedroom, such as difficulty in getting an erection and painful ejaculation.
It is important that as you approach the age of 50, you should go for a screening test. Maintaining a healthy diet, a healthy weight and not smoking are just some of the preventive measures taken to reduce your chances of getting prostate cancer.
Lung cancer strikes about 81 of every 100,000 men. That’s about half the number affected by prostate cancer, but lung cancer remains the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths in men.
Lung cancer symptoms include shortness of breath, coughs, chest pain, noisy breathing especially the whizzing breath and coughing up blood. One of the best ways of preventing lung cancer is to avoid smoking.
A surprise in the list perhaps? Men also get breast cancer. Though quite rare, with only one out of every 1,000 men being diagnosed with breast cancer. Roughly 25,000 patients (women) under the age of 45 will be diagnosed this year alone, which includes millennials, the largest generation since baby boomers. Millennials were born between the early 1980s and late 1990s, making them between ages 18 and 35 now.
The incidence of breast cancer is rising rapidly and has become the commonest malignancy in the world. This escalation can be attributed to lack of awareness coupled with the late diagnosis of the disease where little or nothing can be done to mitigate the damage.
Availability of breast cancer screening centres is no doubt the main source of awareness.
Despite all this, one has to take the initiative and take care of themselves. Cancer does not have to be a death sentence.
Knowing about cancer is the first step toward stopping it.
So this Movember, let’s see you show the support by spotting your facial hair, and actually going for tests. Prevention is better than cure and awareness is better than prevention.