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MOvember: The "MO" you know about prostate cancer, the better!

Body, Men's Health, Show on Corporate Home

Movember, or no-shave November, is underway! Now is the time when men grow out their facial hair for 30 days to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers, according to the Movember Foundation.

“Prostate cancer is not like most cancers,” says Dr. Jeffrey Csiszar, board-certified urologist with Adventist Health Physicians Network in Hanford, California. “About two-thirds of those who are diagnosed with prostate cancer do not show any signs, which is why it’s so important to get screened.”

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate, which is a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.

How do you get prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer starts when some cells in the prostate become abnormal. Mutations in the abnormal cells’ DNA cause the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells. The abnormal cells continue living, when other cells would die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissue. Some abnormal cells can also break off and spread to other parts of the body.

Who’s at risk?

  • Men, specifically African-American men
  • Men with a family history of prostate cancer
  • Men who are obese

What are the symptoms?

Though prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages, the more advanced cancers can result in the following:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in semen
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction

Dr. Csiszar says most men wait until they have urinary problems before visiting the doctor, but warns that this is a dangerous practice.

“Prostate cancer can strike early and aggressively in younger people, but if men wait too long to get checked, the cancer could have already spread outside of the prostate and into other parts of the body.”

Dr. Csiszar recommends annual screenings for those who are between the ages of 55-70. He recommends men who have a family history of prostate cancer be screened earlier, at age 40. Screenings can be done during regular doctor’s visits, when yearly blood work is performed.

Those who have an elevated or high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, or an abnormality in a rectal exam, should talk to their doctor. Find an Adventist Health doctor near you.