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'No Shave November' raises awareness of cancers that impact men

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - We continue our series of reports on No Shave November.

It's the time of year when men, and even some women, forgo shaving for the entire month to raise cancer awareness.

While No Shave is a lot of fun, it also has a serious side.

Cancer and men's health are both important issues brought up during this month-long event.

David Nesius has been volunteering at the West Michigan Cancer Center for 12 years.

But his relationship with the center goes beyond that.

"I'm a patient here," Nesius said.

He has prostate cancer.

"I'm still in treatment off and on. So it's a chronic thing with me," Nesius said.

The Kalamazoo man found out he had cancer after asking his doctor to do testing.

He's noticed other men generally aren't as proactive.

"There's a tendency amongst men to be a bit more reclusive about their health. They want to be in control of their bodies a little bit more, that's their image," Nesius said.

Doctors at the cancer center have noticed this too.

However, it can be a dangerous game to play.

"The chances of men in the United States being detected with prostate cancer today is about 1 in 6," said Dr. Muhammed Hammed of the West Michigan Cancer Center.

Because tests can be invasive, there's controversy over who should be getting tested.

"Have an informed discussion with our physician of risk verses benefits," Dr. Hameed said.

Testicular cancer is another concern.

It often hits younger men.

"Men should be aware of their body, and if they have any symptoms," Dr. Hameed said.

Nesius says one of the biggest problems is men living in denial.

"You need to know, it's not going to help you if you don't. There are people who will help you understand the information," Nesius said.

To learn more about men's health issues visit this link: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/menshealth/index

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