The local NHS is urging men to check for signs of prostate and testicular cancer as they take on Movember.
Every November, millions of men around the world down their razors and grow moustaches to raise awareness of men’s health, but doctors are keen for the serious message behind it to not be forgotten.
Figures show that one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives while testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 25 to 49.
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump or swelling in one of your testicles. Not all lumps and swellings are a sign of cancer but they should never be ignored. Other symptoms include:
• a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
• a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum
• a sudden collection of fluid in your scrotum (hydrocele)
• a general feeling of being unwell
The majority of prostate cancers don’t present symptoms until the very advanced stages, which is why it is important to get yourself checked by your GP. Symptoms can include:
• Urinary issues (slow flow, hesitancy, frequency, urgency)
• Blood in the urine or semen
• Reduced ability to get an erection
• Painful ejaculation
Dr John Caine, a local GP and chair of NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Along with some of my colleagues, I am hiding my razor for the month and I would encourage other men to do the same.
“Men tend to put off checking for signs of cancer and talking about any health concerns they might have through fear or embarrassment. Early identification of any cancer will significantly improve the chances of successful treatment.”
Mike Maguire, NHS West Lancashire CCG’s chief officer, added: “This is an important campaign as it shines a light on illnesses that men don’t always want to deal with and encourages them to face them head on. It’s a slightly different approach but it gets men talking about the warning signs that could ultimately save lives.”
To find out more about men’s health, visit www.nhs.uk or uk.movember.com .