Following Breast Cancer Awareness Month, November is when we turn our attention to certain health threats that men face, particularly prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (other than skin cancer), afflicting about 1 in 7 men at some point in their lives. Testicular cancer is far less common, but men of all ages are susceptible. It is treatable and usually curable, afflicting about 1 in 263 men.

The American Cancer Society provides detailed information on the causes, effects and risks of prostate cancer. Certain factors play a larger role in a man's chances of contracting it; those include age, race/ethnicity, geography, family history and gene changes. Others have a "less clear effect," such as diet, obesity, smoking, chemical exposures, prostate inflammation, sexually transmitted infections and a vasectomy.

In the United States, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2016 there will be:

  • About 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer
  • About 26,120 deaths from prostate cancer
  • About 8,720 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed
  • About 380 men will die of testicular cancer

There are several highly regarded charities that focus on men's health. Over the past several years, you may have heard of (or seen the results of) Movember -- where men are encouraged to grow mustaches during November to increase awareness for men's health issues. Those include not just prostate and testicular cancer, but also mental health and suicide prevention. The Movember Foundation's goal is to reduce deaths of men due to those illnesses and other factors by 25 percent by the year 2030. (You can donate here.)

The following groups all received at least 3 stars from Charity Navigator, which rates how effectively charitable organizations raise money and then spend those donations. (Movember has not been around long enough yet to have received a rating.)

  • Men's Health Network (3 stars): "MHN is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys and their families where they live, work, play and pray with health awareness and disease prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities and patient navigation." (Donate here.)
  • ZERO -- The end of prostate cancer (3 stars): "ZERO’s mission is to end prostate cancer. For the past twenty years, we have saved lives and stopped pain and suffering by advancing research, encouraging action, and providing education and support to men and their families." (Donate here.)
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation (3 stars): "The Prostate Cancer Foundation is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research." (Donate here.)
  • Gay Men's Health Crisis (3 stars): "GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, we understand the reality of HIV/AIDS and empower a healthy life for all." (Donate here.)

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