An autumn ‘stache reminds men of early detection for prostate cancer
Gentlemen, it’s time to break out that moustache wax. With November already upon us, that stubble should soon be twirling its way into a bold statement about men’s health. Thanks to organizations like “Movember” and other forward thinking healthcare entities, the turning of the leaves signals the time to focus on men’s health – specifically prevention and early detection of prostate Cancer.
Regrettably, when it comes to life expectancy, Canadian men are short-changed 4-6 years when compared to Canadian women. There no longer seems to be any good excuse. With advances in diagnosis and treatment the risk may well have shifted to cultural conditioning. When men have a specific health complaint they are 24% less likely to visit a doctor than their female counterparts. When it comes to proactive screening men will see their care provider even less frequently. The aversion to engage in proactive screening translates into higher mortality rates for potentially preventable diseases.
Movember is designed to open discussions about men’s health and statistics from the organization reveal that more than 3/4 of Movember participants discussed their health issues with family and friends. The seasonal appearance of facial hair prompts conversations about awareness, prevention and early detection of prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues.
Early detection provides an edge on a variety of diseases but prostate cancer has an especially impressive 5-year survival rate. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, if prostate cancer is caught early, the chance of being alive 5 years later is 96%. That number falls to 34% if detected late.
“Prostate cancer is typically found in men over 45, whereas testicular cancer is most prevalent from age 15 to 29,” Says Dr. Steve Broughton, family physician with Copeman Healthcare, a private medical Centre focused on prevention and early detection. “So regardless of their age, it’s important for men to think about the steps they can take to prevent disease, including seeing their doctor regularly.”
Movember’s motto is ‘knowledge is power, prevention is everything, early detection is key.’ Men often wait too long before taking action so organizations like Movember have been instrumental in driving awareness and urging men to become proactive with their health. Over the past 10 years Movember has raised over $447 million for education and medical research.
Copeman Healthcare picks up where the seasonal moustache leaves off. With a unique model that integrates the care of physicians with teams of dietitians, exercise medicine specialists, family health nurses and other specialized professionals, Copeman helps clients develop a personalized prevention plan. An annual head-to-toe assessment also tracks any notable changes in health to allow care providers to act on the earliest signs of disease.
“It’s important to establish a baseline to track important changes year after year,” suggests Dr. Broughton, “what may be normal for one person may not be for another, so we need to set a baseline and monitor over time to really develop a clear picture of a client’s health.”
So men, stop delaying that physical assessment because it’s awkward or inconvenient. When you take a proactive approach to health, you’re not just rewarding yourself – you’re giving your family and loved ones the greatest gift imaginable.