Are you a Mo-Bro? This month its all about the mo.. raising awareness about men’s health issues

You may have noticed that men seem to be extra hairy this month ?!

 

Chances are these men are likely to be taking part in Movember.

 

But what exactly is Movember ???

 

Movember is an event which happens each November, where men around the world grow a moustache for 30 days, to raise awareness of men’s health, specifically testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and men’s mental health.

It started in Melbourne, Australia, and has gradually spread around the world. There are now official Movember campaigns in 21 countries, and last year, over £92 million was raised globally.

The funds go to men’s charities health partners in each country.

Men who take part are called ‘Mo Bros’.

They have to start the month clean shaven, then grow and groom their moustache until the end of November.

Even the Mr Men are taking part…. I was a huge fan of these books as a child, so was delighted to hear that this year there has been a brand new Mr. Men character created in aid of Movember, Mr. Mo.

He grows a moustache and encourages some of the other Mr. Men to join in along the way.

Mr Mo is the first Mr. Men title to be released straight to eBook, and is available on Amazon. £0.60 from the sale of each ebook will be donated to Movember.

 

CELEBRITY SUPPORTERS

There are many celebrity supporters of Movember 2013 including:

* Damian Lewis (actor)

* Ray Winstone (actor)

* Neil ‘Doctor’ Fox (Magic FM)

* Adam Hills (The Last Leg C4)

* Austin Healey (rugby player)

 

What is Testicular Cancer ?

Testicular is one of the less common cancers. It usually affects younger men between the ages of 15 and 44.

The most common type of testicular cancer is known as ‘germ cell testicular cancer’, which accounts for around 95% of all cases. Leydig cell tumours account for around 1-3% of cases, whereas sertoli cell tumours account for around 1% of cases. Rates of testicular cancer are five times higher in white men than in black men. The reasons for this are unclear.

 

How will I know if I have Testicular cancer ?

The most common symptom is a painless lump or swelling in the testicles. Other symptoms can include a dull ache in the scrotum, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, a sharp pain in the testicles (which may come and go), a dull ache in the lower abdomen, a sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum, fatigue, or feeling generally unwell.

Research has shown that less than 4% of testicular lumps are cancerous. For example, varicoceles (swollen blood vessels) are a common cause of testicular lumps and affect 1 in 7 men. Hydroceles, epididymal cysts, and testicular torsion (when a testicle becomes twisted) are also common.

How is it diagnosed?

You should see your GP if you notice any lumps, swellings or changes to the testicles, as they should always be checked by a healthcare professional. Testicular torsion is a medical emergency and will require urgent surgery within hours of it starting. Other types of lumps may not require treatment because they often do not cause any symptoms. If a lump causes pain or discomfort, it may be possible to have it surgically removed.

Why do some men get it and others don’t?

The cause or causes of testicular cancer are unknown, but a number of things have been identified that increase the chance of developing the condition. These include having a family history of testicular cancer, or being born with undescended testicles (cryptorchidism). About 3-5% of boys are born with their testicles located inside their abdomen, which usually descend into the scrotum during the first four months of life. A small number of men who’ve previously been treated for testicular cancer will go on to develop a cancer in the other testicle.

How is it treated?

Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer. Over 95% of men with early stage testicular cancer will be completely cured. Even cases of more advanced testicular cancer, where the cancer has spread outside the testicles to nearby tissue, have an 80% chance of being cured. Compared to other cancers, deaths from testicular cancer are rare.

Treatment for testicular cancer includes the surgical removal of the affected testicle (which should not affect fertility or the ability to have sex), and chemotherapy. Fertility after chemotherapy can be affected but it is not always permanent (70% are able to father children afterwards).

Cancer Research says that 80% of men who wanted to father a child after testicular cancer were able to do so.

CHECKING YOURSELF- Men you should be doing this at least once a month, it only takes a few seconds and could SAVE your life!

The best time to self-check is during or after a hot bath or shower, when the muscles of the scrotal sack are relaxed and the testicles hang down lower – but any time is better than not checking at all.

Rest your testicles in the palm of your hand a bit like a weighing scale. Compare one testicle with the other for equal heaviness. (It’s normal that one testicle is larger or hangs down slightly lower than the other).

Place your fingers behind the scrotum and using your thumb gently roll the testicle between your thumb and fingers you’re feeling for any small hard lumps or a slight enlargement or firmness of the testicle. A normal testicle is oval shaped and feels firm, but not hard.

 

There is evidence that the Mediterranean diet may help patients avoid testicular and prostate cancer. The diet is displayed on this pyramid – the main consumption of items comes from the bottom of the pyramid (fruit, vegetables, breads), with only little consumption of e.g. sweets and processed items.

 

There is evidence that eating the following can protect against prostate cancer – all of which is in keeping with the Mediterranean diet:

* A large amount of vegetarian products such as fruit, vegetables and cereals

* Olive oil as the main fat in the diet

* Low intake of saturated fat from meats

* Milk and dairy

* Regular consumption of small fish

* Low alcohol intake, e.g. wine with meals

It is also estimated that 10% of prostate cancer could be prevented if high-income country populations shifted to the Mediterranean diet pattern.

This way of eating is an excellent way for men to keep healthy in general, as well as avoiding cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Nutrients from green tea, pomegranate, soy, and lycopene itself, are also thought to be useful in prostate cancer prevention.