Men’s Health in Movember

Movember is a month-long campaign that raises awareness about men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.

The campaign began in 2003 in Australia when the Movember Foundation decided to hold a “mustache sale” to raise funds for men’s health programs. The idea caught on, and now it has become an international movement with thousands of events held around the world each year.

Men all over the world take part in growing mustaches and raising awareness about men’s mental health, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.

Men and Mental Health

Men’s mental health is often overlooked. Globally, we lose a man to suicide every minute of every day. Our brothers, fathers, partners and friends are facing a health crisis, yet people rarely talk about men’s mental health. “If we all dig a little deeper, we can help prevent more men from reaching a crisis point”. 

Movember is all about acknowledging men and their health. We want to encourage men to go deeper than just small talk and speak out about their mental health. “How and why suicides happen is incredibly complex. What we do know is that helping men establish better social connections can improve their overall well-being and reduce the risk of suicide”- Brendan Maher. 

So what are the stats? According to recent studies, an alarming 77% of men polled have suffered from common mental health symptoms like anxiety, stress or depression, but 40% of men said they have never spoken to anyone about their mental health. And the reason for not talking about their mental health is embarrassment and stigma that still exists about opening up to their friends and family.

Men and Cancer

Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the prostate. Prostate cancer often grows slowly at the beginning and may never cause any problems and go undetected. If left untreated, cancer can spread from the prostate and invade other parts of the body, typically attacking lymph nodes and bones.

According to the World Health Organization, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men worldwide. In fact, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. That’s more than 1 million new cases of prostate cancer every year.

In addition to being a serious health concern for men of all ages, prostate cancer is also an issue that disproportionately affects minority groups like African Americans, Caribbean or Hispanic people. Men who are of African or Caribbean descent, are 2.5 times more likely to get prostate cancer.

The difference between early detection and late detection can be life and death. There are certain precautions you can take to avoid late detection. The first one is talking to your doctor. When you turn 50, you need to talk to your doctor about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing. This is a simple blood test and is the primary method of testing for prostate cancer.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

  • An increased need to urinate frequently, especially at night.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Weak flow of urine.
  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating.
  • Difficulty in having an erection or painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen.
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.

Testicular cancer is the growth of cancer cells that starts in the testicles. Testicular cancer is rare cancer and can occur at any age, but it happens most often between the ages of 15 and 45. It is most commonly diagnosed when a bump or lump is found on the testicles. Testicular cancer is very treatable, but early diagnosis is key. If left undiagnosed, the cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body.

 

Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

  • A lump, bump or swelling in either testicle.
  • A heavy feeling in the scrotum.
  • A dull ache in the lower belly or groin area.
  • Sudden swelling in the scrotum.
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum.
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breast tissue.
  • Backaches.

Final Thoughts

Since its foundation in 2003, Movember has raised over $500 million for men’s health issues worldwide. They have helped fund 1250 men’s health projects around the globe and are continuing to raise awareness about men’s health. No matter where in the world you are, the month of Movember is a time we unite to help change the face of men’s health.

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