Every year during the month of November, men are invited to grow a moustache. The objective of movember (contraction of “moustache” and “November”) ? Raise awareness about male health among the general public and collect donations which will be used for research into human cancers. Dr Laurent Vaucher, FMH Specialist in Urology, answers our questions.
What is male health?
According to the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO), health is “a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and does not consist solely of the absence of disease or infirmity. Male health is more precisely defined by all the ailments that only affect men: problems related to the urogenital system and the hormonal system.
Are there significant differences between men and women in managing their health?
Women are used to regularly going to see their gynaecologist from their teenage years onwards. The latter acts as a primary care physician, and is attentive to the well-being and good health of the patients. Men don’t have this habit; they are often afraid to consult a doctor and talk about their privacy “for nothing”. Between machismo and neglect, they are too often highly discreet about their health, even if it means minimizing real problems. Many still ignore screening for male cancers, namely prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Why raise awareness about male health?
Detected early, these male cancers can be treated well. Movember is an annual event dreamt up in the 2000s in Australia. Every year in November, men from all over the world are invited to grow a moustache in order to raise public awareness and collect donations for research on male diseases, and in particular prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
When should a man consult a doctor?
In Switzerland, there are around 450 new cases of testicular cancer each year. This particular cancer often occurs in young men between the ages of 20 and 35, and is frequently cured if diagnosed early. Its screening is done very simply, by self-palpation. Any abnormality or modification of his testicles should prompt a man to consult a doctor for further investigation. Prostate cancer, on the other hand, remains the most common cancer in men, and mainly affects males over 50 years old. It is painless until late in its development, often by the time it has disseminated into the bones. Two examinations make it possible to detect a possible tumour: measurement of the PSA level (Prostate Specific Antigen) in the blood, and a rectal examination. The methods used to treat this cancer are increasingly effective, such that its mortality rate has decreased over the past thirty years.The side effects of treatments for localized prostate cancer on sexuality and continence are fortunately less and less frequent and severe, thanks to improvements in surgical techniques and tools, as well as in radiotherapy devices.
Is an awareness-raising initiative scheduled at the Clinique de Genolier?
For the first time, the Clinique de Genolier is offering two days of free screening on 12 and 23 November. Beneficiaries will be able to have a PSA level assay and a free consultation, in order to make them aware of these cancers, and of their health in general. To make an appointment for free screening, please call+41 22 366 93 90.