The team at Torquay Sports Medicine Centre are committing to staying active for the month of “Movember” to increase awareness around men’s health. Each team member has set themselves a fitness challenge, and this month we will be holding each other accountable in order to raise funds for the Movember Foundation. I personally have set myself a goal of running 60km and participating in 12 group fitness classes during the month – you heard it here first! 

For myself, Movember has a deeper meaning than dodgy-looking facial hair as, thankfully, I wasn’t blessed with the ability to grow a David Boon-esque nose-piece! Movember draws much needed attention to men’s health, specifically mental health & suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Prostate cancer has touched my family personally with my father being diagnosed a few years ago. This is what motivates me to be involved in such a worthy cause and why I am committed to my health goals for November. 

While Prostate cancer is a serious diagnosis, if detected early the survival rate of over 5 years currently sits at 98% – I personally like those odds. However, if detected late, the rate of survival drops to 26% – quite an alarming statistic. To me getting checked is a no brainer, so if you are male and 50 years or over, stop putting it off and make an appointment to see your doctor and get your blood levels (PSA) tested. No it’s not the scary doctor with the glove – it’s a very simple test – so STOP PUTTING IT OFF! 

To help shed some light on Prostate Cancer, here is some information from the Movember website regarding prostate cancer: 

THE FACTS ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER

Only men have a prostate gland. The prostate gland is usually the size and shape of a walnut and grows bigger as you get older. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube men urinate and ejaculate through. Its main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.

Prostate cancer occurs when some of the cells in the prostate reproduce far more rapidly than normal, resulting in a tumour. Prostate cancer often grows slowly to start with and may never cause any problems. But some men have prostate cancer that is more likely to spread. These prostate cancer cells, if left untreated, may spread from the prostate and invade distant parts of the body, particularly the lymph nodes and bones, producing secondary tumours in a process known as metastasis.

DETECTING PROSTATE CANCER

Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.

Some men, however, will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

For more information head over to https://au.movember.com/ Or why not sign up for your own fitness challenge and help raise much needed funds for research today. 

Andy Allan

Physiotherapist

andy@torquaysmc.com.au