Warning - This blog may contain nuts!


Grow a Mo, Save a Bro'
It's that time of year again when men are a) given the excuse not to shave and b) they don't get frowned upon, in fact they are encouraged to  have  a rummage in their under pants. I am of course referring to Movemeber,  a clever play on the words Moustache and November, the month when thousands  of men grow or attempt to grow a 'tash to raise awareness and funding for prostate and testicular cancer and men's mental health.
Historically, women's' health problems are well promoted and as a rule many of us females trot along to the GP to get our boobs and bits checked out but, men are notorious   for sticking their head in the sand and ignoring the signs that are there for fear of causing a fuss, embarrassment or simply because it's 'not what men do'.  Leaving signs and symptoms too long can really make things worse.

Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer in young men so KNOW YOUR NUTS, it’s that simple!
The best thing you can do for your testicles is give them a bit of a feel each month or so, and if something doesn’t seem right, head to the doctor – use the guide provided by the Movember Foundation to make sure you’re doing it right.

The facts about Prostate cancer
Only men have a prostate gland. The prostate gland is usually the size and shape of a walnut and grows bigger as you get older. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube men urinate and ejaculate through. Its main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.

Once again, early detection is key!
The difference between early detection and late detection can be life and death, If detected early there is a 98% chance of survival beyond 5 years. If detected late there is a 26% chance of survival beyond 5 years 

Here’s what you need to do, and when...
When you're 50.
You need to have a conversation with your doctor about PSA testing.
If you're black, do it at 45.
If you have a family history, do it at 45.

What IS a PSA test?
PSA is a simple routine blood test. It’s used to determine the measurement of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) concentration in the blood; it is the primary method of testing for prostate cancer. A lot of men put off going to their GP because they’ve heard about the physical examination, DRE, (Digital Rectal Examination) or, as it’s otherwise known; FUTB (Finger Up The Bum!) The reason for this test is so that the GP can feel if the prostate is enlarged or if there are any irregularities on there, but you might not necessarily have this test and just have the blood test instead so don’t be put off, you should be talking to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Detecting prostate cancer
Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. In many cases, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up. Some men, however, will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer.

Signs and symptoms

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

These symptoms don’t necessarily mean that you have prostate cancer but you should always check with your GP.

The facts about mental health
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15–29 year-old men. 1 in 8 men in the UK have experienced a mental health problem. 75% of suicides are men, higher than women, why? Because women TALK! Don’t be ‘a bloke’ if you have a problem, tell someone! It isn’t a sign of weakness.

What can we do? 
Talk, Ask, Listen, Encourage action, Check in, just showing your mate you care can be enough

Grow your moustache with pride
It doesn’t matter if you can only manage a ‘five – a –side’ or you can sprout a full blown handle bar specimen of a bush under your nostrils within ten minutes, every effort will show your care and support for improving men’s health. Visit the link below to sign up today https://uk.movember.com/get-involved/moustaches

I for one will be sporting a rather fetching effort albeit not home grown when I lead my TASHbata class (Tabata, see what I did there?? 20- secs of exercise, 10 secs rest) on Wednesday 28th November 6.30 – 7.10 at Lifestyles, Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre. All participants, male or female, MUST have a moustache and we will be collecting donations on the night!

For more information on any of these subjects visit the Movember website

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