Campus News

The Silent Health Crisis

By Amanda Albert, Viterbo wellness intern

Men are dying too young—on average, men die six years earlier than women. The reasons are largely preventable, which means it’s time to take action and make a change.

Movember is an annual initiative involving growing mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health issues, especially prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The Movember Foundation has raised $ 174 million with $7.5 million raised in the U.S. in 2010 alone.

Here are the top five general health recommendations for men:

  • Stay connected to friends. Set aside time to spend with your guy friends.
  • Have open conversations and have a reliable friend or family member to turn to for support.
  • At age 50, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer and PSA testing. If you are African-American or have a family history of prostate cancer, have this conversation at age 45 (you are two times more likely to develop prostate cancer).
  • Perform regular testicular self exams and know the risks.
  • Get moving—improving overall health lowers your risk of developing a variety of health problems.

Prostate Cancer:

  • Occurs when cells in the prostate reproduce more rapidly than normal, resulting in a tumor.
  • May grow slowly and never cause problems, but if left untreated it may spread to other parts of the body such as lymph nodes and bones.
  • Early detection is key. If detected early, there is a 98 percent chance of survival beyond five years. If detected late, this percentage drops to 26 percent chance of survival beyond five years.
  • The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age.
  • It is the second most common cancer in men worldwide.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Difficult or painful urinating/ejaculating
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in low back, hips, or upper thighs

Treatment:

  • Active surveillance
  • Prostatectomy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy

Testicular Cancer

Occurs when there is an abnormal growth or tumor that develops in one or both testicles.

Risk

  • It is the most common cancer in men aged 15–34.
  • Men with undescended testes at birth or with family history are at an increased risk.

Detection

Regularly exam each testicle: if you notice a change in size or shape, a new lump, or if they become painful to the touch, see a doctor.

Treatment

  • Orchiectomy
  • Chemotherapy or radiotherapy

Side effects

  • Testicular cancer and removal of one testicle should not alter ability to reproduce—effect on fertility is minimal due to the large number of sperm the other testicle can produce.

MENtal Health

One in four adults in the U.S. experience a mental health problem in a given year. Three out of four suicides are men.

What to do?

  • Talk
  • Ask
  • Listen
  • Encourage action
  • Check in
  • Fight
  1. Improving overall health reduces the risk of suicide.
  2. Educate boys and men on mental health and building strong social connections.
  3. Get involved with community outreach programs.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Move for Movember

Join the Movember initiative. Physical activity promotes overall health and reduces men’s risk of developing prostate and testicular cancer. Men, help lower your risks by developing a healthy workout routine. Women, raise awareness for the men in your life and encourage them to join you in the challenge. Move for Movember is a workout challenge held Nov. 13–17. Log as many minutes of activity for the week as you can for your chance to win a fitness basket. Attend the tabata class led by Ryan, a Viterbo fitness specialist, to earn double time toward the challenge. Class is held Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Mathy Center gym. Sign up in the Mathy Center for free.