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Prostate cancer is a significant health concern for men in Sweden, as it is globally. It’s essential to raise awareness about this disease, its risk factors, and the importance of early detection. In this article, we will explore the state of prostate cancer awareness in Sweden and what everyone should know to protect their health, with a special focus on “Mustaschkampen.” 

Prostate Cancer Statistics in Sweden

Prostate cancer is Sweden’s most common form of cancer (1). Every year, around 10,000 men and people assigned male at birth are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Sweden and about 2,500 die from the disease (2). That makes prostate cancer the most common and deadliest cancer in Sweden (2). It is important to remember that anyone with prostate can get prostate cancer, not only cisgender men. The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age.  It is more common among men over 50 with about half of the cases occur in men aged 70 or older.

Prostate cancer is characterized by the development of a cancerous growth within the prostate gland, typically in its outer region (1). The progression of this disease is often slow, and it may be several years before the malignant tumor exerts significant pressure on the urethra, leading to urinary issues. Thus, the majority of people diagnosed with prostate cancer experience no noticeable symptoms at the time of diagnosis (1). That is why prevention and early diagnosis of prostate cancer are so important.

Risk Factors for developing prostate cancer

Understanding the risk factors associated with prostate cancer is crucial for prevention and early detection.Key risk factors include:

  • Age: The risk increases with age, so regular check-ups become more critical as you get older (1).
  • Family History: If you have a close relative with prostate cancer, such as a father or brother, your risk is higher (1).

Factors with less clear effects on prostate cancer risk include:

  • Diet: A diet high in red meat and low in fruits and vegetables may contribute to an increased risk (3).
  • Obesity: Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce the risk (5).

The Importance of Awareness

Prostate cancer often develops without noticeable symptoms in its early stages, making it a “silent killer.” Raising awareness is essential for several reasons:

  1. Early Detection: Early detection is key to successful treatment. Regular screenings, such as the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination, can identify the disease in its early stages (4).
  2. Educating Men: Increased awareness empowers men to make informed decisions about their health. This leads to more regular check-ups and screenings, reducing the risk of late-stage prostate cancer.
  3. Reducing Stigma: Awareness campaigns help men overcome  the  fear and embarrassment, making it easier for them to discuss their prostate health and seek medical advice (5).

Mustaschkampen and Its Impact

In Sweden, Mustaschkampen, also known as the “Movember” movement, has played a significant role in prostate cancer awareness (5). Mustaschkampen encourages men to grow mustaches during November, sparking conversations about men’s health. It has become a symbol of solidarity and support for those affected by prostate cancer.

Mustaschkampen is more than just facial hair—it’s about raising awareness, destigmatizing discussions about prostate health, and encouraging men to take action. The movement involves various initiatives and activities, including charity runs, fundraisers, and educational events, to emphasize the importance of early detection.

Mustaschkampen, inspired by the global Movember movement, has gained popularity in Sweden, contributing significantly to prostate cancer awareness and fundraising (6). By participating in Mustaschkampen and staying informed about prostate cancer, Swedish men can actively contribute to reducing the impact of this disease on their lives and communities.

If you have any worries or questions, consult with your physician to decide on the best clinical approach going forward. At NEM, we believe in taking a proactive approach to all aspects of your health.

Silviya Demerzhan, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer, Nordic Executive Medicine
Medical review by: Dr. Mahir Vazda MD


  1. Cancerfonden [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 20]. Prostatacancer – Symtom, prognos och behandling. Available from: https://www.cancerfonden.se/om-cancer/cancersjukdomar/prostatacancer
  2. Spotlight on: Prostate Cancer | Karolinska Institutet [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 20]. Available from: https://ki.se/en/research/spotlight-on-prostate-cancer
  3. Prostate Cancer Risk Factors | Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 20]. Available from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/prostate-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html
  4. Prostate Cancer Screening Tests [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 20]. Available from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/prostate-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/tests.html
  5. Movember – Changing the face of men’s health [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 20]. Available from: https://se.movember.com/
  6. Mustaschkampen [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 20]. Available from: https://www.mustaschkampen.se/