PERMISSION TO BUST YOUR BALLS...but only on World Cancer Day

by Jinga Mom

When, after a long week, ‘have you put the bins out?’ could kick off World War 3, I can understand your reluctance to enquire: ‘when was the last time you had a prostate exam or checked your testicles?’ as you crack a boiled egg over breakfast. The World Cancer Day was last February 4th, so that’s the perfect time to remind the men in your life to ‘drop the hand’. Or you could save yourself another one of those conversations and just forward him the link to this article instead...

While testicular cancer is usually associated with younger men and prostate with older, the upper and lower age limits are blurring due to the unhealthy ‘western diet’, which means all you guys should be copping a feel every couple of months and getting your prostate examined every four years. You can check the testicles yourself by carrying out a quick, simple, exam - in a warm shower is best, when the testes are relaxed - there are plenty of clips on youtube to show you how. Signs to look out for include:

  • Lumps or hardness on the front or side of a testis.

  • Swelling or enlargement.

  • An increase in firmness.

  • A sensation of dragging or heaviness in the scrotum.

  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin.

 Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

The DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) for the prostate is a bit of a harder sell, as it involves a doctor briefly inserting a finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities - and before you ask, no, you can’t ‘do it yourself’ or talk anyone into ‘helping’. With prostate cancer, there are usually no symptoms in the early stages (hence the need for frequent screenings) but you should contact your GP immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Frequent urges to urinate - including getting up more than twice during the night.

  • It takes time to get going when passing urine.

  • A feeling the bladder has not completely emptied.

  • Blood present in the urine.

  • Painful urination and, sometimes, ejaculation.

A PSA blood test may also be administered during the visit but since Prostate Specific Antigen is a protein produced by normal as well as malignant cells of the prostate gland, the DRE-aded exam is still the most preferred method. (Jinga’s, a tactic to be reserved for especially reluctant men: next time you drop into the chemist for ‘lady things’ and pain killers or are passing a maternity hospital, query if he’s made an appointment? My other half, atheist that he is, still blesses himself like an 80 year-old nun when passing the Rotunda and whispers: ‘the things they did to you’. Any arguments about how uncomfortable and awkward the whole GP visit is, can be met with a raised eyebrow and a really?) The good news is, caught early enough, 95% of patients who are diagnosed with these types of cancers go on to make a full recovery. With so many demands on your time, it’s take a real Jinga Man to priortise his health, in fact, it takes real balls! So lads, send a little love your liathroidi’s way by setting up alerts on your Jinga account for regular screenings to nip any problems in the bud. You’ll be glad you did.