Throughout November, you may have noticed men up and down the UK growing moustaches. You may of thought that it was a new trend, but you’d be glad to know that it wasn’t. They were all raising money and awareness for ‘Movember’.
Founded in 2003, the charity focuses on male’s mental health and suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer.
The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that in 2019, there were 5,691 suicides registered in England and Wales and around three-quarters of registered deaths were among men (4,303 deaths), which follows a consistent trend back to the mid-1990s.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK. Globally, more than 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.
Testicular cancer strikes young. It’s the most common cancer in young men. At greater than 95%, the odds of survival for men with testicular cancer are better than good… if the symptoms are recognised early enough.
With Movember’s initiatives, by 2030, they aim to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.
So every year, the month before Christmas, men are encouraged to grow moustaches such as the chevron, walrus, pencil or even the handlebar all to raise funds and awareness for men’s health.
Our founder, Luke Newman, has participated in the awareness for many years. His Father, Steve, had testicular cancer at the age of 33 and Luke was just 4.
“It’s important for me to look ridiculous for a month”, Luke said. “Not only am I an advocate of improving mens mental health, over 35 years ago, my Dad found a lump and had successful treatment for his testicular cancer.”
Typical symptoms are a painless swelling or lump in one of the testicles or any change in shape or texture of the testicles.
The swelling or lump can be about the size of a pea or slightly larger. Most lumps or swellings in the scrotum are not in the testicle and are not a sign of cancer, but they should never be ignored.
Luke said: “It was on a Christmas Eve, I must of been 19 and having a bath, when I found a small lump. The natural first reaction is panic, but I know I had to get it checked out. I know, even though still rare, that I am four times more likely to develop it than someone with no family history of the condition, because of Dad’s previous diagnosis.”
“I immediately made an appointment with my general practitioner (GP), who then organised for me to visit the radiography department at my local hospital. Three weeks later, the radiographer examined my lump and cancer was ruled out. The procedure was completely pain free, however the lubricating gel that was placed on my scrotum was a bit cold though!”
Other symptoms of testicular cancer includes an increase in the firmness of a testicle, a difference in appearance between one testicle and the other, a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go and a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum.
The best time to check yourself is after a warm shower or bath as your skin is most relaxed and should be checked at least once a month for lumps or swellings. Men get checking!
For more information on Movember, please visit https://uk.movember.com/