Could your facial hair save a life? That’s certainly the goal of “Movember,” a global initiative to raise awareness for men’s mental and physical health issues.
Movember was created in 2003 by a group of guys who wanted to put a stop to avoidable, premature male death. The idea? Grow a mustache for the month of November, and when asked about it, share your knowledge about men’s health issues to raise awareness in others. Their mission now, almost twenty years later, is to reduce the number of early deaths in men by 25 percent. That’s a goal we can all get behind!
To participate, share what you learn from this article with the men in your life. And if you can, grow a mustache and share your pictures on social media, tag #Movember to participate in the online campaign!
“Macho,” “rugged,” and “tough guy” are all words we’ve heard to describe masculinity, but it’s time to redefine the narrative. It takes a strong man to take care of himself, and what’s more hardcore than the discipline it takes to stay healthy?
This Movember, we’re discussing three of the most common killers in men: suicide, prostate, and testicular cancer.
Suicide in Men
Collectively as a society, we’ve started talking about mental health more regularly, but we still have a long way to go, especially when it comes to men’s mental health.
Every year, over 6 million men suffer from depression, and most cases go undiagnosed. Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, and it’s the seventh leading cause of male deaths overall. Men are unlikely to seek help or treatment if they’re struggling—something Movember aims to change.
A study conducted in 2016 found that work is one of the top reasons preventing men from getting the help they need. A third of men surveyed (34 percent) expressed feelings of shame or embarrassment if they had to take time off of work for their mental health. And over half of men dealing with these issues (52 percent) were fearful their employer would think negatively of them if they found out.
In the same study, they found:
- 30 percent of men would not take time off for blood in their urine
- 40 percent of men would not take time off for an unexpected lump
- 42 percent of men would not take time off for chest pain
- 81 percent of men would not take time off for anxiety
- 85 percent of men would not take time off for feeling depressed
Those percentages all contribute to the reason Movember was created—to destigmatize mental health conditions and normalize men seeking medical help.
Numbers don’t lie, and these issues probably affect more people in your life than you’re aware of. It’s imperative that men start communicating and leaning on one another for support. If you’re one of the estimated 6 million men suffering from depressive disorders or suicidal thoughts, you’re not alone; talk to your friends, family, or seek professional help. Use Movember as a chance to open the conversation and ask for support or lend your support to the men in your life.
Along with talking about how you’re feeling, Movember is a reminder to get regular exercise, eat a balanced diet, and seek healthy outlets in your life to cope with stress.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35. The good news is, testicular cancer is highly treatable. Early detection is key, and men should perform self-examinations at least once a month to catch any abnormalities in the beginning stages. Click here for a guide to testicular self-exams.
- A lump or enlarged testicle
- Heaviness in the scrotum
- Discomfort or pain in a testicle or scrotum
- Back pain
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- Tenderness or enlargement of the breast
In most cases, it’s not clear what causes testicular cancer, but there are factors that may increase your risk.
Risk factors for testicular cancer include:
- An undescended testicle
- Abnormal testicle development
- Family history
- Age (15-35)
- Race (It’s more common in white men than black men.)
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men, and the risk increases with age. The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the fluid that transports sperm. The cancer is typically confined in the prostate gland and can either progress slowly or grow rapidly.
According to global patterns, unchecked prostate cancer rates will double over the next 15 years—just one of the many reasons it’s important to raise awareness to these issues.
Men should ask their doctors about prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing when they’re 50 years old or 45 if they’re African American or have a family history.
More advanced prostate cancer may cause the following symptoms:
- Urinating issues
- Blood in semen
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pelvic discomfort
As with most cancers, you can reduce your risk by eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and watching your weight.
As the studies show, men are more reluctant to get medical help, but this Movember we encourage the men in our community to make the effort for a healthier life. Our facility prides itself on care with convenience, ease, and timeliness even the busiest men can get behind. For all your medical emergencies, give us a visit and we’ll have you seen and on your way in no time!