November, November, remember Movember. The time has come for men to discard their trusty razor blades and grow a moustache for Movember.
Movember is one of the leading charities which focuses on changing the face of men’s health, from prostate and testicular cancer to mental health.
Since its establishment, the Movember movement has funded scores of men’s health projects, constantly looking at ways to support men.
As Movember is set to kick off tomorrow, November 1, the Newcastillian spoke to Mediclinic Newcastle’s Specialist Urologist and Robotic Surgeon, Dr Mahesh Dhanjee.
As a urologist for the past 25 years and living in Newcastle for close to 20 years, Dr Dhanjee is a man who prides himself on his passion for health. Constantly striving to help his patients.
After nearly three decades as a urologist, what does Dr Dhanjee enjoy most about his career?
“What I enjoy about being a urologist, is the fact that I see people of all ages and both sexes, unlike gynaecology who only sees women. Then as a urologist, there is the chance of improving a person’s quality of life, instead of just curing a disease.”
With Movember focusing on men’s health, what does men’s health mean to Dr Dhanjee?
He says that when viewing an individual’s health, he prefers to look at it, in totality.
“For many people, when you mention men’s health, the first thing that pops into their mind is prostate cancer.”
However, he says there is cardiovascular diseases, depression, testicular cancer and much more.
“Men are more than just a prostate gland,” Dr Dhanjee emphasises.
One of the health issues he works on is erectile dysfunction, a medical condition which men often tend to shy away from.
“Erectile dysfunction is a growing concern, even among young men. But there is a stigma around it and men are often too embarrassed to talk about it,” Dr Dhanjee explains.
Despite being an embarrassing topic, Dr Dhanjee says erectile dysfunction can be a good marker for other health-related issues.
“Studies have shown that erectile dysfunction can be a marker for cardiovascular diseases. A warning symptom which can occur as a sign of what is to come.”
As a precautionary warning to a potentially hazardous health issue, erectile dysfunction is not the only male-related health issue Dr Dhanjee works with.
“Prostate cancer is a passion of mine and I have done several lectures on it within the Newcastle community,” he says.
One of the biggest problems he has noted is how men often tend to avoid regular check-ups.
“Men are not like women who tend to go for their check-ups almost religiously. Sadly, it is often these men who do not go for check-ups that often develop prostate cancer.”
With cancer wreaking havoc in the lives of millions of people, Dr Dhanjee encourages men to go for regular check-ups, as prostate cancer can be cured if diagnosed early. Mere moments of slight discomfort can see you lead a healthy life.
As a Robotic Surgeon, Dr Dhanjee is also able to combat prostate cancer more effectively with modern technology, ensuring men lead quality-filled lives.
Warning symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Frequent urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow or the need to strain to empty the bladder
- Blood in your urine
- Blood in seminal fluid
- New onset of erectile dysfunction
- Pain or burning during urination, which is much less common
- Discomfort or pain when sitting, caused by an enlarged prostate
Regular check-ups, however, are not the only thing men tend to avoid. Dr Dhanjee says men are more prone to risk-taking behaviour than their female counterparts. This includes binge drinking, not exercising regularly and following a healthy diet.
“People also need to stop smoking and vaping, which is just as bad; if not worse than smoking cigarettes.”
As a doctor who is passionate about overall health, improving quality of life and making a positive impact on the lives of his patients, Dr Dhanjee says he has learned important lessons through his career.
“I have learned that it is important to listen to patients, to truly talk to them and touch them. While I have embraced technology, got involved in robotic surgery, I did so to help people improve their quality of life. Because while we as doctors use technology to help people, we must never forget the basics and the importance of reaching out to our patients.”
Are you ready to discard your razor blade this month to make a stand for men’s health? Whether you decide to grow a moustache, beard or carry on shaving, make sure you get your check up this month and avoid being a statistic.