Everyone knows Pink October to raise awareness about breast cancer screening. Less know this same campaign dedicated to men. Prostate and testicular cancer are the targets of the event to remind people of the importance of screening and donations to serve the fight.
Movember’s rallying sign? The moustache. “This is an action created in 2003 by two Australians who decided to grow their mustaches in November, explains one of the urologists at the Bon Secours clinic in Puy-en-Velay Jacques Largeron. With social networks, this initiative has enjoyed worldwide success. Since then, it has become an association to raise awareness of male cancer pathologies, in particular testicular and prostate cancers ”.
Screening, the first weapon to fight cancer
In France, Movember’s actions have been effective since 2012. “This 9th edition was somewhat parasitized by the current health crisis, specifies Jacques Largeron. The principle is to educate the population on the subject through challenges such as growing a mustache and beard for a month. In parallel, there are barber competitions, races, exhibitions and many other events to ultimately recover funds for research ”.
The key word that comes back to the specialist’s mouth is screening. “Testicular cancer is 2,500 cases per year in France, he emphasizes. Screening is done by self-examination by the patient himself. If he experiences a stony nodule, he should immediately see his doctor or urologist. This is also the official Movember 2020 spot with a little movie played by Bruno Solo. “ According to Jacques Largeron, this cancerous pathology particularly affects young men aged 20 to 35.
« You should know that this cancer is silent. It doesn’t cause any pain »
If testicular cancer appears rather rare, it is the exact opposite for prostate cancer. “There are around 50,000 cases per year, book urologist Marlène Guandalino. But the figures for 2019 indicate nearly 70,000 prostate cancers in France. This is due in particular to the increase in screening. You should know that this cancer is silent. It does not cause any pain. And if there is pain, it often means it is too late. Hence the importance, once the age of 50 has passed, to be screened with an annual PSA blood test (Specific Prostate Antigen, Editor’s note) and a digital rectal examination. “
At his side, his colleague Pascal Métois ensures: “If cancer is caught early, it is easily cured. But it’s true that men, unlike women, have a harder time with it. The base in this awareness is the attending physician. It is up to him to inform and convince his patient to get tested. Then to orient it according to the results. “
According to E-Cancer data:
– The number of deaths in 2018 in France: 157,400, 89,600 in men and 67,800 in women.
– Mortality rates: 123.8 per 100,000 men and 72.2 per 100,000 women.
– The median age of death in 2015 was 73 years for men and 77 years for women.
According to figures from Public Health France, the net survival at 5 years post-operation is:
– 63% for cancers of the colon, rectum and cervix
– 88% for the breast
– 93% for the prostate
Prostate cancer kills 11,000 people a year
Pascal Métois nevertheless deplores a drop in screening during this year 2020 because of health restrictions and confinements. “In terms of cancer pathology, it is the first male cancer followed by lung and colorectal, he says. Each year, it kills 11,000 people in France. “ Still in terms of mortality, lung cancer ranks first in humans (22,761 deaths in 2018), ahead of colorectal cancer (9,209 deaths).
A million euro robot
On the technology side, the Bon Secours clinic appears to be a pioneer in this area in the department. “We have new technologies with the advent of robotics, Jacques Largeron shares. Especially since we have our Da Vinci surgical robot. It allows us to operate on patients without pain with discharges within two or three days after his intervention. Something inconceivable six years ago still in this field. It is a real asset for the Altiligérien population! “
The robot, unique in Haute-Loire, arrived in the clinic in December 2019. The first patients operated on were six months later. “There are only three in Auvergne, 15 in the Greater Region and 170 in France, says the person in charge of the robot preferring to remain anonymous. This remote manipulator does not replace the surgeon but allows to magnify his gestures. The specialist will thus have better vision, improved ergonomics and very high precision ”. Its cost? Between one and two million euros depending on the options chosen.
A gold mine 2.0
The Bon Secours Clinic has a website that provides the right information on several pathologies including testicular and prostate cancer, but also kidney stones and children’s urology. To consult on Urovelay.
Internet, this interface that wants you harm
The word cancer is certainly a heavy burden to carry in your head and in your body. And all the technologies and robots in the world are incapable of psychologically accompanying the patient on the road to combat. For 18 months, the Bon Secours clinic has specialized nurses in this field. “For example, we will receive a patient diagnosed with prostate cancer to explain absolutely everything about the protocol chosen for him, confides Marilyn Gouteyron, nurse in consultation of paramedical announcement. The objective is to play down the situation and answer all questions, whether about the operation or the postoperative follow-up. »
She warns against all information found on the Internet. “A lot of nonsense is on the web! As people use it very often, we are now forced to present all the medical and pseudo-medical solutions that patients have learned through it and then eliminate them one by one. If we don’t do this, the sick think we are hiding something from them ”.
A haemorrhage of donations
Present with the caregivers, Bernard Beldon is the vice-president of the Ligue contre le Cancer Haute-Loire. “This year, we unfortunately see a drop in donations for the League, he laments. This comes from the general anxiety-provoking context and the cancellation of events dedicated to the fight. For example, the action that the bikers of Une Rose Un Espoir do every year has been canceled because of the Covid. Yet, Covid or not, cancer will still be there after the health crisis we are going through. “
The Ligue contre le Cancer donated 50,000 euros in 2019 to the Bon Secours Clinic to equip itself with an ultrasound machine allowing the detection of small prostate lesions and the performance of targeted biopsies with MRI guidance (total cost 140,000 euros).
Alain Groisier, 61, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020. “My screening happened quite by chance with my attending physician who integrated the PSA analysis into my annual blood test, he describes. In 2020, it turned out to be worrying and I went to see a urologist, namely Jacques Largeron, for further research. I entered the Bon Secours clinic on July 15, 2020 and had an operation the next day. Three days later, I was home with no pain and no difficulty in walking or otherwise. “
He specifies : “The Clinic team is made up of three urologists and a staff all around. What is remarkable is the work done to perfectly explain the path that awaits us and to enter deeply into this stage of cancer. And destroy it together ”.