Movember is an annual event that provides us with the opportunity to learn more about some of the specific health issues men can face.
Encouraging men to get involved in the Movember Movement by growing a mustache symbolizes solidarity. To help support fundraising, Movember aims to increase early detection and diagnosis of prostate and testicular cancer, advance effective treatments, and extend crucial support to those with suicidal ideation.
At yYoung, our goal is to reduce the number of preventable deaths by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Please do your part by creating and maintaining an inner support group, in addition to scheduling a yearly physical checkup with your doctor. Please know that our staff at yYoung Pharmacy are here to support you in any way we can.
Prostate cancer is ranked third as the leading cause of cancer death in Canadian men. Currently, there are no known causes or prevention, but early detection and treatment (while the cancer is still small and limited to the prostate) can provide the best possible chance for being cured and cancer-free. If you do not have a family doctor, yYoung also owns and operates a medical clinic. It’s so simple to come in for a checkup with our fantastic team of doctors. Click here to book your appointment.
The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by both cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate, a small gland that sits below the bladder in males. The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of PSA in your blood and is used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. The test detects high levels of PSA that may be indicative of the presence of prostate cancer. However, several benign conditions can increase your PSA level, such as inflammation or enlargement of the prostate (also known as benign prostate hyperplasia).
Currently, the Medical Services Plan (MSP) does not cover the cost for PSA tests in B.C. However, the test is covered if you have a history of prostate cancer in your family. Please see your doctor for details. At yYoung, we believe prevention is far more effective than correction.
Testicular cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control in the testicles/testes (two oval-shaped organs that make sperm and testosterone). They are in a pouch below the penis called the scrotum.
When discovered in the early stages, it is highly curable. While experts do not know what causes testicular cancer, having an undescended testicle or Klinefelter Syndrome (a genetic condition that results when a boy is born with an extra copy of the X chromosome) may increase one’s risk. In general, most men who get testicular cancer do not have any risk factors.
Though Testicular Cancer is rare, it is the most common cancer among young men. Be mindful that these cancer treatments can cause infertility and affect the ability to have children in the future.
What are the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer?
Early symptoms are not always apparent, and other factors may be at play regarding some of these symptoms. Make sure to speak with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:
- An enlarged testicle (larger than is normal for you) is the most common sign.
- A lump or swelling in your testicle that may or may not be painful.
- A dull ache in your groin, abdomen, or back.
- A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum.
- A build-up of fluid or swelling in your scrotum.
Movember’s website has some valuable tips on how to identify if someone you know is struggling. They suggest these four stages in the form of an acronym, ALEC.
Start by mentioning any different behavior that you’ve noticed. For example, someone you know spends more time at the bar, coming into work late, or missing social events. These are all possible signs that a life change has occurred. It is an unfortunate by-product of our society that some men believe the “boys don’t cry” mentality. Hence, these men have no discernable outlet to vent their emotions. Self-medicating in alcohol or substance abuse and sexual promiscuity are often used as coping mechanisms for stress.
Trust your instinct. Remember, we often say “I’m fine” when we’re not. So, if you think something’s wrong, don’t be afraid to ask twice.
Try to give him your full and undivided attention without interruptions. Don’t feel you have to diagnose problems, offer solutions, or give advice. Just let him know you’re all ears, judgment-free.
Follow-up questions are good too. They’ll help to let them know you’re listening.
E: Encourage Action
Help him focus on simple things that might improve his well-being: are they getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating properly? Maybe there was some hobby that helped to alleviate stress before? Many people are still relatively isolated in our current covid pandemic situation and have had ALL their social interactions curtailed.
You may also suggest that he open up to others that he trusts regarding how he’s feeling. And if he’s felt depressed for more than two weeks, whether or not it is situationally related, suggest he sees his doctor.
Suggest you catch up soon – in person if you can. If you can’t manage a meet up, make time for a call, or send him a daily message. These actions will show you care. In addition, you’ll get a feel for whether he’s feeling any better.
If you’re worried that somebody’s life is in immediate danger, go directly to emergency services.
For local information and help, please visit the BC Government’s page on suicide and self-harm.
For more knowledge on Movember and its history, you can visit their website at: https://ca.movember.com/?home