Raising awareness of Prostate Cancer for Movember 2021

17th November 2021 Clinical Negligence

For the 30 days of November, Movember will be raising awareness about men’s health issues – particularly prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention.

This blog will focus on the important work that Movember is doing to raise awareness of prostate cancer, to raise funds for crucial research and to support men’s health projects around the world. With one in eight men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, we want to shine a light on this vital work.

What is Movember?

Movember is the largest men’s health movement in the world, with a presence in over 20 countries and over five million supporters. Movember is committed to changing the face of men’s health by giving men information to understand the health risks they face and to act on them.

Movember has ambitious goals. In terms of prostate cancer, by 2030, Movember aims to halve:

  • The number of men dying from prostate cancer; and
  • The number of men facing serious ongoing side effects from treatment of prostate cancer.

What is prostate cancer, and what are the risk factors and symptoms?

Although around 10.8 million men globally are facing life with a prostate cancer diagnosis, not everyone understands what prostate cancer is, the risk factors and the potential signs and symptoms.

The prostate is a gland which sits underneath the bladder and helps to produce semen. It is generally the size and shape of a walnut and grows as men age.

A man’s risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. It is recommended that when men reach the age of 50, they should have regular check-ups with their doctor to monitor their prostate health. For men with a family history of prostate cancer and for black men the risk of prostate cancer is higher and so these men are advised to start the conversation with their GP earlier - at ages 40 to 45. Prostate Cancer UK, in partnership with Movember, are funding research to understand why black men are at a higher risk of prostate cancer than other men. To read more about this research, click here.

It is important for men to speak to their GP, even where they do not have any symptoms. This is because most men with early prostate cancer do not have any signs or symptoms, and often prostate cancer is first detected during a routine check-up.

However, some men may see changes in their urinary or sexual function, such as passing urine more often, difficulty passing urine, blood in urine or semen or getting up during the night to pass urine. Although these changes are more likely to be caused by a common non-cancerous problem called an enlarged prostate, it is still important to go for a check-up. For more information on symptoms, click here.

To make the process of speaking to a doctor easier, Prostate Cancer UK have helpfully prepared a form that men can fill in and take to their doctor’s appointment.

We at JMW are keen to raise awareness of prostate cancer, the signs and symptoms and the need for routine checks because we know from the cancer cases that we have dealt, and are dealing, with that early diagnosis is key. When prostate cancer is diagnosed early and is localised, there is a chance that the cancer may not require treatment and can be monitored with regular check-ups instead. If treatment is required, it will usually aim to get rid of the cancer, rather than keep it under control. Cancer Research UK report that when diagnosed at its earliest stage, 100 per cent of people with prostate cancer will survive for five years or more, compared with 49 per cent of people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.

When can JMW help?

Sadly, we have acted for too many clients with cancer whose outlook is worse than it needs to be because early concerns were not picked up on.

The clinical negligence department at JMW have expertise in handling delayed diagnosis of cancer claims. We understand the devastating consequences that a delay in diagnosis can have on individuals and their loved ones.

For example, our London team acted for a man in his fifties who despite reporting urinary symptoms was not investigated properly for the possibility of prostate cancer. When a diagnosis was finally made, he had to undergo major surgery, which could have been avoided had the cancer been detected earlier. He was left with pain and symptoms of incontinence, which unfortunately were permanent. 

If you would like to have a chat with a member of our team about a potential claim, please get in touch and we would be happy to assist.

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Emily Mallinder is a Trainee Solicitor located in Londonin our Trainee Solicitors department

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