Men’s Health for Movember

Here at I focus a lot on women’s issues… because yeah… I’m a girl and those are the issues that resonate with me. But not this month. This month is reserved for the men. The lovely men in our lives who are kind and generous and loving and strong without taking our strength away and who deserve our praise and support. There is SO much in the news right now that puts men in a bitter light. And believe me when I say that we should call men’s negative behaviour out when necessary. 

But do we focus on the good men enough? The ones who support us and lift us up and give us so many amazing things? 

This is the month to do just that. It’s also Movember and one of the ways we can support the amazing men in our lives is to focus on the stigma surrounding Cancer. Whether it be Prostrate or Testicular or Pancreatic… it’s time to focus on the men in our lives and encourage them to get tested. 

I have to say, I’m still gutted when I think about Patrick Swayze and his fight with pancreatic cancer that sadly ended in 2009. To see such a vibrant personality go through such trauma is still heartbreaking to think about. 

Pancreatic cancer is often a silent killer. Most cases are asymptomatic. And the later the cancer is caught the lower the chances of survival.

People ages 50 to 70 are most at risk for developing the disease. Smokers, heavy drinkers of alcohol and, in some cases, people with a genetic predisposition are most at risk for pancreatic cancer. Some sufferers of chronic pancreatitis may also be at risk.

Besides eating right and abstaining from smoking and heavy drinking, there’s very little that can be done to prevent the disease.

Testicular cancer is rare and usually treatable… but this is one the YOUNGER men need to be concerned about. 

In the UK around 2,400 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year. That’s about 1 out of every 100 cancers (1%) diagnosed in men. Younger men are more likely to get testicular cancer. Almost half (50%) of those who get it are under 35. Men in their early 30s are the most likely to get it. Men over 55 are the least likely to get it.

And in regards to prostrate cancer the Guardian tells us to make sure our men of colour are tested because… 

Black men in England have twice the lifetime risk of both being diagnosed with – and dying from – prostate cancer compared with white men, according to a study by Public Health England and Prostate Cancer UK. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with 41,736 cases diagnosed in 2011, and is predicted to become the overall most commonly diagnosed cancer by 2030.

How do we fight the stigma and take care of our men? 

Too many men are in denial about prostate cancer, doctors say. Embarrassment, or too much concerned for their manhood, cause many men to delay seeking treatment — or even being checked — for cancer’s third deadliest form, many experts say. Eight out of 10 men who live past 80 can expect to develop some form of prostate cancer, studies show. And, when treated early, the disease is life threatening in just a fraction of cases.

Starting at 40, and definitely at 50 men should get annual checkups that include the PSA test and rectal exam, and maybe more frequently if the physician finds an enlarged prostate or the person is a member of a high risk group. Men often don’t seek exams or treatment until they start having symptoms of pain, urinating blood or not urinating at all.

There has been MUCH research done to show that women are motivating factors for men to get cancer screenings. We can help our brothers, husbands, friends, fathers, sons to get tested for these cancers. We DO make a difference. So support the men in your life to take measures to preserve their lives… we do rather like having you guys around. 

Have any of your loved ones been screened for any type of male oriented cancer? How did you help them? Do you feel there is a stigma for men? I’d love to hear what you think… hit me up on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram. Let’s talk about it!