One of the most common cancers in men is prostate cancer. On average, 63 Canadians are currently diagnosed with prostate cancer and 11 Canadians die from it every day. Detecting the disease as early as possible trough screening is important in order to have the best chances of survival.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate is a gland with the size of a large walnut located just below the bladder at the base of the penis. It surrounds the urethra—the gland that carries urine from the bladder to the tip of the penis. It is mainly used to make the liquid part that nourishes and protects the sperm.
Most often prostate cancer progresses over several years before it manifests itself, for example, in urinary disorders. Symptoms, such as decreased urinary stream and strength, difficulty in urinating, frequent urination, blood in the urine or painful ejaculation should prompt men to seek medical attention, although these symptoms are most often associated with other mild disorders.
Detecting prostate cancer
The rectal exam is a method used to detect prostate abnormalities. The doctor may detect a lump, irregularity or variation in the size or texture of the prostate during this examination. A blood test is also available; it is called the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test. Blood levels of PSA increase in cancer cases, but also in some minor disorders, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia. Usually, the doctor will propose these diagnostic tests during the periodic examination of men over 50 years of age.
What is Movember?
It has been noticed over the past few years that many men grow a moustache in November. This act of solidarity is made in support for the Movember Foundation. The Movember Foundation collects donations in order to act on three main aspects that have an impact on people's lives:
- Prostate cancer, which affects older men
- Testicular cancer, which mainly affects young men
- Mental health and suicide prevention
If you have any questions about prostate cancer, feel free to discuss them with your healthcare professional.