The November Blue campaign is a movement that aims to make the population, especially men, aware of the importance of prevention concerning prostate cancer. The campaign takes place around the world and serves as a warning about the need to carry out an early diagnosis of the disease.

When it comes to Blue November, we automatically link the campaign to prostate cancer. However, other problems can affect the prostate, and among them are benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis. In addition, some myths are surrounding the subject, and to demystify all this, we will address below some trivia, tales, and truths about the subject.

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Origin of Blue November

The movement began in 2003 in Australia and the initial idea came when some friends decided to let their mustaches grow, intending to draw attention to men's health.

Initially formed by a group of 30 men, a non-profit organization was created and called the Movember Foundation (Movember is a combination of mustache and November), where the goal would be to raise funds for research and assistance in the treatment of prostate cancer among other diseases common to men.

The Movember Foundation

The Movember Foundation is the only charity that takes care of men's health on a global scale, year-round. The foundation addresses some of the biggest health issues facing men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, suicide prevention, and mental health.

According to Movember's official website, the foundation works independently of government funding. In 15 years, they have funded more than 1,200 men's health projects around the world. The goal is that by 2030 there will be a 25% reduction in the number of men who die prematurely.

About prostate cancer

Did you know that prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men worldwide? According to a survey carried out in 2018, the most frequent types of cancer in men were lung cancer (14.5%), prostate (13.5%), colon and rectum (10.9%), stomach (7.2%), and liver (6.3%).

More than 1.3 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Even when successful, treatment can harm the physical and mental health of those affected.

Who is most at risk?

The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, but despite what many people think, it doesn't just affect older men. It is recommended that from the age of 50, every man talks to a doctor and has a PSA test.

Did you know that men of African or Caribbean descent and men with a family history (a brother or father with prostate cancer) are 2.5 times more likely to have prostate cancer? Therefore, for the groups above, it is recommended to take the PSA test from 45 years of age onwards.

What is the PSA test?

PSA stands for Prostate-Specific Antigens or translating, prostate-specific antigens. The PSA test is a simple routine blood test where the concentration of prostate-specific antigen in the blood is measured and is the main test method for prostate cancer.

A man's chance of getting prostate cancer increases as his PSA level rises, but no set cutoff can be sure whether he has the disease (or not).

It is important to know that increased PSA does not mean having prostate cancer, as well as low PSA does not mean being free from it.

Despite what many imagine, the digital rectal exam is not the most indicated for initial screening of prostate cancer, however, it can serve as an adjunct to the PSA exam. The digital rectal exam is quick and cheap, but it is best to talk to the health professional so that he can assess the best alternative, as each case has its peculiarities.

It is worth remembering that the PSA test is important not only for the early detection of prostate cancer but also for benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis already mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Testicular cancer: reality among young people

Did you know that testicular cancer is a rare type of tumor that appears mainly in young people between 15 and 35 years old? According to data from the National Cancer Institute (INCA), testicular tumors account for 5% of all cancer cases among men.

An important fact is that this type of cancer is usually more common in men who have already suffered some trauma in the region, such as athletes, for example.

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Source: Movember