Prostate and Testicular Cancer – The Signs!

Across the world, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with males accounting for 75% of all suicides. In relation to cancer, unchecked, prostate cancer rates will double over the next 15 years and globally, from the current rate of 12,000 deaths every year right now.
It is vital that men understand their physical health, as well as their mental health.

With that in mind, on Wednesday 27 April, ‘For Men To Talk’ welcomed Allan Roper and Robin Giles from Prostate Cancer UK to their virtual meeting.

Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate gland, the gland that produces the fluid that makes up semen. Tumours are often slow-growing and highly treatable. More than 50,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.

The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, especially over 50 years old. 1 in 8 white men and 1 in 4 black men will have prostate cancer in their lifetime.

For those who have a family history (a brother or father with prostate cancer), they are 2.5 times more likely to get it. For men whose mother or sister have had breast cancer, chances increase too.

A PSA test is a blood test to help detect prostate cancer. The test, which can be done at a GP surgery, measures the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is a protein made only by the prostate gland. Some of it leaks into your blood, but how much depends on your age and the health of your prostate.

You can download a PDF file of the symptoms poster of prostate cancer here

Our founder, Luke Newman’s Father, Steve, had testicular cancer at the age of 33 and Luke was just 4.

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 have 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.

There are around 2,300 new testicular cancer cases in the UK every year. It’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men in the UK. You can download a PDF file of the symptoms poster here.

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!

The great news is that both cancers have high cure rates and can be successfully treated, as long as the cancer is detected early and has not spread to other parts of the body. This emphasises the importance for men to visit their General Practitioner (GP). Not just for recognising the symptoms of these cancers, but for anything that just doesn’t feel right.

Don’t be late to see the Doctor

Men don’t talk to each other. That’s what ‘For Men To Talk’ are trying to change. For the first year, since being founded in December 2019, we have really focused on men talking about their feelings and mental health and that will always be our number one priority. However, we have a responsibility to raise awareness of men’s physical health, as well as mental.

Many men don’t get medical check-ups because their health isn’t something they talk about. Most convince themselves that their condition will improve on its own, not wanting to ‘bother’ a doctor. Perhaps it’s fear of the unknown, that it maybe a bad diagnosis or a bad outcome. Men are much too casual about, and disinterested in their own health, and again that needs to change.

The UK, especially, have seen a significant increase in the rates of testicular and prostate cancer. It shows that there is perhaps an ignorance in the education of their symptoms. If men focused more on the value of checking for early sign or symptoms then the mortality rate of these cancers could be significant reduced.

The major health risks for all men include both prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The great news is that both cancers have high cure rates and can be successfully treated, as long as the cancer is detected early and has not spread to other parts of the body.

Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate gland, the gland that produces the fluid that makes up semen. Tumours are often slow-growing and highly treatable. More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 129 men every day.

The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. But men who are black, and those who have a family history (a brother or father with prostate cancer), are 2.5 times more likely to get it. You can download a PDF file of the symptoms poster here.

Testicular cancer occurs in the testicles, which are located inside the scrotum, a loose bag of skin underneath the penis. The testicles produce male sex hormones and sperm for reproduction. The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a painless lump on or in a testicle. There are around 2,300 new testicular cancer cases in the UK every year. It’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men in the UK. You can download a PDF file of the symptoms poster here.

As mentioned, early detection of these cancers is essential for successful treatment. This emphasises the importance for men to visit their General Practitioner (GP). Not just for recognising the symptoms of these cancers, but for anything that just doesn’t feel right.

Most males who have high blood pressure don’t know it. But having headaches, blood shot eyes or feeling generally unwell can be a sign. Lowering that pressure, with small changes, can make a big difference, as it reduces the risks of a heart attack or stroke.

Men are twice as likely as women to suffer from work-related stress. Stress on its own has a huge impact on health and add to this how men tend to shut off their feelings and ignore their mental health, it can be a ticking time bomb! Headaches, sweating, feeling tired or dizzy are just some of those stress related signs.

Men really need to stop making excuses. Stop blaming it on being busy, afraid of the body exams or even getting on the scales to see how much weight they’ve gained over the years! The earlier they seek a diagnosis, could really be the difference between life or death.