We once again find ourselves in the middle of another Movember campaign. What started out over a few beer in Australia in 2003 has grown into the most influential and successful fundraising venture for prostate cancer and men's health in the world. Last year across 21 countries over $100million dollars were raised, a jaw-dropping number. However, Movember also affords us the larger opportunity to advocate on behalf of patients and start conversations around all things related to men's health as well as now mental health. I have long since felt that physicians should take a lead role in worthwhile fund-raising initiatives that relate to the diseases they treat. It was the subject of an #hcldr chat last May 27 and speaks to the heart of patient advocacy. Urologists in their role as providers of prostate cancer care should play a role in Movember. All doctors should also understand the impact of mental illness at least at a minimum as it relates to the care of their own patients.
Every year I join the campaign, in part, in an effort to facilitate this conversation. This year, more than ever there is confusion around prostate cancer. Recent recommendations in Canada threaten to undo many of the gains made in the management of prostate cancer over the last thirty years. I have recently written about this, as have other esteemed colleagues. It is a complex and nuanced topic to be sure. Specialist participation in Movember can help to better guide this debate.
This Movember I thought we would make an effort to shed some light on a typical prostate cancer surgery as many patients have expressed to me their desire to be better informed about potential treatments. We are very fortunate at Toronto East General Hospital to run a large and comprehensive surgical oncology program with our partners at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and under the umbrella of the University of Toronto. TEGH is a tremendous institution that provides a superb and supportive environment for great patient care. On November 13, 2014 from 0730-1200 we will tweet a live robotic prostatectomy using the hashtags #teghprostate and #movember. This will be a joint venture between TEGH and the amazing people at Movember Canada. Aside from describing some of the technical aspects of the surgery I hope it will invite a larger conversation around current trends in prostate cancer detection and treatment as well more generally mens’ health issues. Please consider joining in. I hope you will find it to be informative.