Movember… it has always made me shudder. Men walking around with the most atrocious mustaches and goatees bringing us back to some long ago dismissed facial fashion trends. They were put to rest for good reason. A few of my friends do such a great job of it, we could just drop them back about 30-40 years in time and they’d fit right in.
But as my career in pelvic health progresses, I welcome the trend. It makes a statement. A bold statement to the fact that the statistics related to prostate cancers are as atrocious as the ‘staches that this month brings.
Prostate cancer is the leading cancer in men. Per 2015 statistics, of the 100,500 new cancer cases, prostate leads that list at 23.9%.
Almost 45% of male cancers are in the pelvis. Men have a 29% lifetime probability of dying of cancer.
The projected change is prostate cancer distribution is set to go from 26.6% in the years between 2003-2007 to 29.1% in the years between 2028-2032.
Those are frightening numbers. That’s the bad news.
But there is some good news! More and more people are surviving cancer than ever before. Cancer is no longer a death sentence. Thanks to research and advances in medicine, 63% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer will survive at least 5 Years after their diagnosis. The even better figure is that the estimated 1 million cancer survivors in Canada today is expected to increase to 2 million by 2020!
So, what does that mean? It means, dear Sirs that as awful as it is to hear the ‘C’ word, it is more important that ever to consider more that just “surviving”. Its easy to get carried away and only focus on getting treatment ASAP to eradicate that beast that’s invaded your body. But what happens when you come out the other side of treatment, free of cancer, with a lot of good years left to enjoy life? Did you consider that you would have to wear pads and suffer some continence issues? Were you told that you might have some significant erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery? Did you take the time to take a deep look at what that might mean to you in the years to come?
More research is needed in the issues plaguing men in the survivorship as it is in the treatment of the cancer itself. More attention should be cast on the lasting physical and psychological consequences of cancer and its treatments. Mental wellness is directly affected by the physical consequences of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. If left unaddressed, they can cause stress, anxiety and depression.
A pelvic health physiotherapist can help in addressing erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Having an assessment upon diagnosis has been recommended to recover function sooner post surgery.
A mental health professional can help you navigate through your new reality. Man yourself with a team if you need! There are many amazing years ahead!
If you haven’t already, donate to someone’s Mo Space. If you don’t know who to donate to, how about a little fun? Check out the worthy ‘Stashes below and click on the best one to donate to his space! Or click on the mustache symbol to learn more about Movember and how you can get involved.