Now that Movember (Mustache November) has ended (almost), I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned:
1. Movember is about raising money for prostate cancer research, not necessarily about raising awareness. More on that later.
2. I grow a terrible mustache (picture after the jump)
Now, on the movember website, it does say that it’s about raising money AND awareness. However, I guess I’ve interpreted awareness as a message for men to go and get tested. This, in particular, is what I believe I had mistaken. The reason for this is that, although many men do end up getting prostate cancer, it is usually a slow growing and may never reveal symptoms, such that men with it will usually die of other causes.
Prostate cancer tends to develop in men over the age of fifty and although it is one of the most prevalent types of cancer in men, many never have symptoms, undergo no therapy, and eventually die of other causes. This is because cancer of the prostate is, in most cases, slow-growing, symptom-free, and since men with the condition are older they often die of causes unrelated to the prostate cancer, such as heart/circulatory disease, pneumonia, other unconnected cancers, or old age. About 2/3 of cases are slow growing, the other third more aggressive and fast developing.
Prostate cancer screening is actually a controversial thing, since it may be that many men who don’t need to be treated are being treated, and this may actually increase the mortality, as opposed to reduce it.
Again, from wiki:
Modern screening tests have found cancers that might never have developed into serious disease, and that “the slight reduction of risk by surgically removing the prostate or treating it with radiation may not outweigh the substantial side effects of these treatments,” an opinion also shared by the CDC.
Which I find utterly fascinating. More fascinating, though, are the preventative measures we can all take: frequency of ejaculations (there is some evidence for this, but also some evidence against, and some saying there is no link), omega-3 fatty acids (that is, they’re good for you), a vegetarian diet (YES), low-carb diet (boring), and coffee may reduce aggressiveness.
As for my terrible mustache: BEHOLD!!