Movember: Prostate Cancer and Heart Disease
In 2003, the decision of two men from Australia to see if they could bring back the moustache trend turned into a global campaign to raise awareness for men’s health and prostate cancer. After challenging friends to join them in growing a mustache for the whole month of November and pledging money to raise awareness around prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention – the Movember Foundation was born.
Since its beginning almost 17 years ago, Movember now has official campaigns in 21 countries and has raised more than 500 million dollars to fund over 1,250 men’s health programs around the world. Donations to the foundation go to men’s health partners like the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Prevention Institute. Movember funds groundbreaking projects all over the world, engaging men where they are to understand what works best for their health and accelerate change. By 2030, they aim to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.
A big part of the Movember initiative is making sure men are informed about their health and encouraging them to take action. 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and it is the second most common cancer in men in the U.S. When detected early, prostate cancer survival rates are better than 98%. If detected late, survival rates drop below 26%. To increase the chances of early detection and survival, the best steps you can take are to go to the doctor, ask about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing, and catch prostate cancer early.
The Possible Link Between Prostate Cancer Treatment and Heart Disease
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is important to discuss all treatment options with your doctor as some may have negative effects on your heart health. New research suggests that the hormone-suppressing treatment of early stage prostate cancer, known as androgen-depravation therapy (ADT), could be the cause of cardiovascular disease and heart failure in prostate cancer survivors. Although ADT is highly effective for treatment of localized prostate cancer, a recent study found that men undergoing hormone-depleting treatments for early stage prostate cancer had an 81 percent higher risk of suffering from heart failure. Even though it may not seem like it, these findings are good news. Information is power! By being aware of the possible side effects of ADT, doctors and patients can formulate a personalized treatment plan that simultaneously treats prostate cancer and lowers their risk for developing heart disease later in life.
Patients who chose to move forward with ADT should implement heart-healthy lifestyle changes, like a balanced diet and an increase in exercise, to decrease the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular wellness and monitoring of any signs of heart disease are two vital aspects of care for the nearly 230,000 who receive a prostate cancer diagnosis each year in the U.S.
Making Sure Your Treatment Plan is Right for You
There are also many different treatment options for prostate cancer including radiation therapy, cryotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery. It is important to discuss all your treatment options, along with the risks and benefits, with your doctor to ensure that you undergo the right treatment plan for you and your health. Some important things to consider are the stage and grade of your cancer, your age, any other health conditions you may have, and your feelings about the possible side effects from each treatment. Foundations like Movember are working hard to fund tailored, personalized treatment plans and research to help men understand their diagnosis and make an informed decision when it comes to treatment.
Taking Action for Your Health This Movember
This November, join Movember and CVG by taking proactive action to take care of your heart and overall health. If you’re a man who is 45 years or older, make an appointment with your doctor today to get screened for prostate cancer and discuss prevention methods. This month is all about raising awareness, encouraging men to put their health first and taking early action for a better outcome for men’s health. If you have or your loved ones have any questions about heart health or treatment plans, book a consult with one of our doctors at CVG today.