Blue November: what is prostate cancer and how to prevent it

Blue November: find out what the symptoms of prostate cancer are and how you can take care of yourself and prevent the disease.

Throughout the month, iFood offers 2,000 prevention consultations for delivery partners

Data from the National Cancer Institute (Inca) indicate that in Brazil, the prostate cancer It is the second most common among men – and represents 29% of tumor diagnoses in the country, behind only non-melanoma skin cancer.

According to the institute, every year 65 thousand new cases are registered in the country. Therefore, when the month of November arrives, awareness campaigns begin for the early detection of this type of cancer – an essential attitude for the treatment to be successful.

In 2021, the Blue November campaign turns ten in Brazil. It was created in 2011 by the Lado a Lado pela Vida Institute to raise awareness among Brazilians about the importance of early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

The Blue November movement began in 2003, in Australia, to draw men's attention to the prevention and early diagnosis of diseases that affect the male population, such as prostate cancer.

To collaborate with prevention and self-care initiatives, iFood continues the Pink October carrying out an unprecedented campaign for delivery partners in the Blue November movement. Until the end of November, the company offers 2,000 free consultations in partnership with Avus in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Porto Alegre and Salvador.

Upon receiving communication through the app, delivery drivers will be able to schedule the appointment via telemedicine. Avus can be accessed via the Delivery de Vantagens link, the exclusive benefits club available on the iFood app for Deliverers.

Partner Judson Pereira, from Salvador (BA), took advantage of the initiative and scheduled his appointment at the beginning of the month. “I participated in the teleconsultation and everything went smoothly. It was a routine exam, the doctor did some tests that I’m going to do”, he says.

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a small, apple-shaped gland that is below the bladder and in front of the rectum (final part of the large intestine) and also surrounds the initial part of the urethra, the channel through which urine stored in the bladder is eliminated. Its function is to produce part of the semen, the liquid that contains sperm.

In young men, the prostate is the size of a plum, but it enlarges with age. When a man has a prostate tumor, it can grow and spread to other organs, hence the importance of detecting the disease in its early stages.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

In the early stages, prostate cancer progresses without being noticed. Therefore, many patients do not present any symptoms. When the tumor is in its advanced stage, however, the man may feel pain in the bones, discomfort when urinating or, in more serious cases, have a generalized infection or kidney failure.

The symptoms of a tumor are very similar to those of benign prostate problems, such as having difficulty urinating (or needing to go to the bathroom more often during the day or night) or noticing a decrease in urine flow or traces of blood .

These signs may also indicate a benign enlargement (hyperplasia) of the prostate or inflammation caused by bacteria (prostatitis). Therefore, to resolve doubts about whether or not the symptoms could mean the presence of prostate cancer, you need to consult a doctor.

The diagnosis is made through a digital rectal exam, which may or may not be followed by a blood test to identify PSA values or a prostate biopsy.

The digital rectal exam allows the doctor to assess the size and texture of the prostate, and the PSA test measures the amount of a protein produced by the prostate (PSA) in the blood – high PSA levels may also indicate a benign disease.

If the disease is diagnosed, treatment of the tumor may involve surgery, radiotherapy or observation, depending on medical indications.

Prostate cancer prevention

Prostate cancer is more common in old age – around 75% of cases worldwide occur after the age of 65. Both incidence and mortality increase significantly after age 50.

Some of the risk factors for developing the disease before the age of 60, according to Inca, are having a father or brother who had prostate cancer before that age, excess body fat and exposure to toxic substances such as aromatic amines (common in chemical industries, mechanical and aluminum processing), arsenic (used as a wood preservative and pesticide) and petroleum products, among others.

Some healthy practices that reduce the risk of getting cancer are maintaining a healthy diet and an adequate weight, practicing physical activities, not smoking and avoiding the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

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