#Movember Edition: How Much Do You Know About Your Prostate & Testicles

Men’s health has always been a “hush-hush” topic. The stigma of men having to be strong, “macho” and always ready for battle, has encouraged men to suppress their health concerns. The #Movember movement addresses this very issue. #Movember motivates men from all walks of life to grow mustaches in the month of November to raise awareness on men’s health issue such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. Their purpose is to “help men live happier, healthier and longer lives”.

To commemorate #Movember, let’s dive into prostate and testicular cancer and better understand signs and possible prevention techniques.

Prostate Cancer 

The prostate refers to a small ping-pong ball rubbery gland in the male’s reproductive system that produces seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. With 14.8% of male cancer patients experiencing prostate cancer, prostate cancer continues to be the second most common cancer type after colon-rectum cancer in Singapore. It mostly targets men 50 years of age and above, but truthfully, any man can be at risk of developing it.


Prostate Cancer Symptoms

If you feel concerned or want to get a check for prostate cancer, here are some signs and symptoms to take note of:

  • Frequent urination
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow or the need to strain to empty the bladder
  • The urge to urinate frequently at night
  • Blood in the urine
  • New onset of erectile dysfunction
  • Pain or burning during urination, which is much less common
  • Discomfort or pain when sitting, caused by an enlarged prostate

Do speak to your doctor if you are showing any of these symptoms.

Prostate Cancer Prevention

To best prevent and avoid prostate cancer, it is important for you to firstly understand your family health history and risk factors. Knowing this will allow better insights to understand if you are more or less prone to developing prostate cancer.

Adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise can also help reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Limiting your intake of fat from red meat and increasing the amount of omega 3 fatty acids from proteins such as fish can help. Keeping an overall balanced diet and regular exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle will be beneficial as well.

Steer clear of smoking, drink moderately and try to reduce and manage stress factors around you. These would help reduce the chances of developing all forms of cancer.

Testicular Cancer

Testicles are two walnut-shaped glands inside the male’s scrotum. They are the male sex glands that are responsible for producing sperm and the hormone testosterone. Although it is less common than prostate cancer, testicular cancer is most prevalent in men between the ages of 20 to 35 years old.

There are two forms of testicular cancer, namely seminoma and non-seminoma testicular cancer. Seminoma testicular cancer is a slower-growing cancer that tends to affect men aged between 25 to 45 and also older men aged 55 to 60. Non-seminoma testicular cancer, on the other hand, is more aggressive and is more likely to occur in younger men aged 15 to 35. It can spread to the bones and other organs such as the lungs, liver and brain.

Testicular Cancer Symptoms

If you are experiencing any one of these symptoms, it could be a possible sign of testicular cancer:

  • Swelling or a sudden gathering of fluid in the scrotum
  • Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A lump or swelling in either testicle
  • Build-up of fluid in the scrotum
  • Dull ache in the groin or lower abdomen
  • Pain or discomfort in the scrotum or a testicle
  • A shrinking testicle

Do speak to your doctor if you are showing any of these symptoms.

Testicular Cancer Prevention 

To this date, not much is known of what prevents testicular cancer. However, it is best advised to regularly self monitor and self-examine the area and to go for regular health screening. This way, testicular cancer can be identified at an early stage. 

Have a Balanced Lifestyle 

If you are facing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is highly encouraged for you to visit your doctor for advice and medical attention.

Make it a habit to self-examine your body regularly to identify any changes or irregularities. Also, remember to schedule your annual health screening.

Eat healthily, exercise regularly and have a balanced diet and keep testicular and prostate cancer at bay!

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