Prostate Cancer Month

November has been renamed ‘Movember’ as a scheme to promote prostate cancer awareness, via the moustache!


It could not be simpler to help increase prostate health awareness and support and raise money for prostate charities. In fact no effort is required at all, it just means men can stop shaving the upper lip and start proudly sporting a moustache or ‘Mo’ – hence the name. Last year £22 million was raised and although the money is great, it is bringing more awareness to the topic that is the top priority.

Prostate cancer accounts for almost a quarter of male cancers. Each year, nearly 35,000 men are diagnosed and more than10,000 die from the disease. I didn’t think most men needed any encouragement to check themselves out, but apparently the majority do need to be reminded to regularly every month look for any signs of pain or swelling in their testicles or prostate.

The latter of course is not so easy unless you have a prostate massager, or are prepared to use your finger, but there are health benefits in stimulating the prostate gland through massage.

Spotting the signs

The prostate is a small walnut sized gland found inside the male reproductive system just underneath the bladder and it secretes a fluid that goes to form semen. As men get older their prostate gland often enlarges but this is not usually due to cancer but to a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia. Most enlargements of the prostate are benign which means they are not cancer and can be easily treated. Prostate cancer is very treatable but you stand a much better chance of a full recovery if you catch the warning signs early.

The symptoms of growths in the prostate are similar whether they are non cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). The symptoms include:

*   Having to rush to the toilet to pass urine

*  Difficulty passing urine

*   Passing urine more often than usual, especially at night

*   Pain when passing urine

*   Blood in the urine or semen

The last two symptoms – pain and bleeding – are very rare in prostate cancer. They are more often a symptom of non cancerous prostate conditions.

It is important to realise though, that very early prostate cancer generally does not cause any symptoms at all. If a tumour is not large enough to put much pressure on the tube that carries urine out of the body (the urethra), you may not notice any effects from it. Remember that if you have any symptoms you should be checked by your doctor

What you can do

Keeping a healthy prostate is part of a healthy lifestyle and that means paying attention to lifestyle factors, exercise and diet and ensuring good hormone balance.

It is often forgotten that hormone balance is as essential for men as for women and that they too need progesterone. Men produce progesterone in the adrenals and testicles and as they age hormone levels drop and can result in oestrogen dominance with the associated risk of prostate cancer.

Supplementing with bioidentical natural progesterone can be helpful, though there is no research on this, only anecdotal reports from men using it. From this it seems that when using natural progesterone for a year their levels of PSA (Prostatic Specific Antigen) in their blood decreased to normal levels.

The two Movember Centres of Excellence in the UK are situated in London and Belfast. They were founded in 2014, with funds raised by the hairy and incredible efforts of the UK’s Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, and they are delivered in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK.