Movember - Why Men's Health is Important
Movember is a month-long annual event that gives men the opportunity to grow a moustache and no one can stop them!
Want to grow the sophisticated “Imperial”? What about the classic “Horseshoe”, or the cop-favourite “Lampshade”? However you decide to style your ‘tash, it’s a great way for men to come together and raise awareness for men’s health.
So how does growing a moustache in November help raise awareness?
In this article, we’re sharing with you how Movember is the perfect opportunity to not only express yourself on your upper lip, but also learn, educate, and donate to help the countless men out there facing silent battles with their health every day.
What is Movember?
We’ve all heard that phrase, many of us have probably said it, too. Maybe you said it when your guy friend was complaining about a dull ache or sharp pain. You might’ve said it when he was down in the dumps, maybe he didn’t want to go to work, or his partner had treated him badly.
Because men should just get on with it… right?
Men matter, and far too many men are in the mind-set that they should stay quiet to protect their masculinity and live by the harsh standards that society has set. To end this stigma, Movember was created.
There are three main health conditions that Movember aims to raise awareness for that are often overlooked.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men, it involves the prostate, the gland in the pelvis that’s part of the male reproductive system. The initial cause is unknown and there are often no signs or symptoms for a long time due to its slow development, meaning diagnosis sometimes occurs during the later stages.
- It is believed that 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer.
- Research has found that black men are more at risk, and Asian men are less at risk of developing prostate cancer.
- You’re slightly more at risk if your brother or father has been affected by prostate cancer.
There are multiple ways you can test for prostate cancer. PSA testing - a blood test - may help detect prostate cancer earlier by measuring the level of prostate-specific antigen. You can also go to your GP for a physical examination, MRI scan, or a biopsy.
Treatment for prostate cancer includes surgically removing the prostate, and radiotherapy. There is also further treatment for when the cancer has spread to reduce symptoms and prolong life.
Many men don’t speak up about experiencing possible symptoms for prostate cancer due to the anxiety of discussing the intimate area, or fear of losing their dignity from getting a physical examination. It’s important to remember that the tests for prostate cancer could save your life, and testing for cancer is a GP’s job.
A less common cancer, Testicular cancer is typically a painless swelling or change of shape or texture in one of the testicles. Like most cancers, the exact initial causes of testicular cancer is unknown. Luckily, it’s one of the most treatable cancers, with 98% of men surviving for five or more years after diagnosis.
- Testicular cancer accounts to only 1% of all cancers that occur in men.
- Around 2,300 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year in the UK
- White men have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer than other ethnic groups
There are multiple types of testicular cancer, the two most common being:
- Seminomas – accounting for 40 to 45% of cases
- Non-seminomas – Including teratomas, embryonal carcinomas, choriocarcinomas, and yolk sac tumours.
Other, less common types are leydig cell tumours, and sertoli cell tumours, combined they account to up to 3% of cases.
Like prostate cancer, the topic of testicular cancer is often avoided with men due to the intimacy of the area and the fear of damaging their masculinity. Almost all men who are treated for testicular cancer are cured, so a quick check from a professional is always worth it.
Men’s Mental Health
There’s lots of health conditions out there, but one that is often overlooked, particular when men are involved, is mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and not treating it could be just as life threatening.
- 87% of rough sleepers are men.
- 11% of men say they have no friends.
- 73% of adults who go missing are men.
- 8.7% of men are dependent on alcohol.
- Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45.
There are many coping mechanisms that you can try that will help your mental wellbeing, such as spending time outdoors and getting enough sleep. Therapy, especially CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is becoming a more common and popular choice also, and more men are encouraged to speak to a professional to learn how to open up about their feelings to improve their wellbeing.
If you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, such as depression, you can receive a repeat prescription such as antidepressants that may help you conquer those demons.
So now you know that Movember is more than a month for men to experiment with their facial hair, it’s a month dedicated to saving lives. Even if on the outside they’re smiling, you have no idea what may be happening on the inside. It’s important to express your emotions. Make it clear to the men in your life that they are in a safe space to open up.
You could save their life.