As we enter into the second week of November, I’m sure many men out there have already started to grow, groom and grease their mustaches. While admiring the different mustaches we see on the men around us, it is important to remember the real purpose behind their facial hair statements. November is the month of prostate and testicular cancer.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers that can occur among men. The risk of diagnosing prostate cancer increases as men age, especially for men above 50 years old. Unlike testicular cancer, the location of the prostate makes it difficult to physically feel a tumor. In fact, prostate cancer is often diagnosed through a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Abnormally high normal of PSA in the blood stream can be indicative of prostate cancer. Regardless, it is important to pay attention some common symptoms including painful, interrupted or difficult urination.

Testicular cancer, on the other hand, is the most common type of cancer found among men between the ages of 15 to 39. The majority of testicular cancers arise in germ cells and can be subdivided into two categories: seminomas and nonseminomas. Although the treatment of both types have been quite successful, there is still of small percentage of men that succumb to testicular cancer. This is why the four step self-exam, termed “Check ‘em” by the Canadian testicular cancer website, is extremely important. To check for abnormalities in the testicles and scrotum, men should follow these four steps: look for any abnormal lumps, hold to accustom yourself to the size and weight of the scrotum, feel each testicle and ensure there is no pain, and repeat.

As a result of the association between a lack of physical activity and prostate cancer, the Movember Canada Foundation has included a “move” portion in addition to growing a mustache. For the ladies out there that might not be able to grow a mustache, this is a perfect opportunity to participate in Movember. The move challenge only requires participants to do physical activity every day of the month. There are plenty of ways to help the fight to improve treatment for prostate and testicular cancer. This month especially, we can help by growing our facial hair, moving and encouraging others to exercise, and of course, donating to further research.

For more information on “Check ‘em” self exam, visit:

The Canadian Cancer Society also has important general knowledge about prostate and testicular cancer:

For more information on Movember, visit: