It is that time of year again when some men choose to give their barber a break and grow mustaches in support of Prostate cancer and the Movember movement.
Every year in November, men, especially of Caribbean and African descent including East Africans, are reminded of the increased risk of developing the disease. According to Prostate cancer Canada, screening regularly for the disease is important in order to treat Prostate cancer. A significant proportion of prostate cancers, if untreated, may have serious consequences.
Myths and Misperceptions
However, convincing men of African ancestry including East African-Canadians to reach out for help remains a challenge.
“We need to show people that there is no shame in having a disease,” says Dr. Winston Isaac, associate professor and director of the Ryerson School of Health Services Management.
“Treating the disease does not make you gay,” Isaac said. “You just had surgery and you have to heal.”
Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-Canadian men and in Caribbean men of African descent than in men of other races. Men with African background are also more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as white men.
There are no scientific reasons for the disparity.
- Burning or pain during urination.
- Difficulty urinating, or trouble starting and stopping while urinating.
- More frequent urges to urinate at night.
- Loss of bladder control.
- Decreased flow or velocity of urine stream.
- Blood in urine (hematuria)
If cancer has spread outside of the prostate gland, a man may experience:
- Pain in the back, hips, thighs, shoulders, or other bones
- Swelling or edema in the legs or feet
- Unexplained weight loss
- Change in bowel habits
If you are concerned about one or more of the symptoms or signs on this list, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you have been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.
If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.