We invest a lot of time and effort into the health of our business, often at the expense of our own well-being. Too much stress and too little time in the day lead us to push off doctor’s visits and preventive care that not only impact our quality of life in the short term, but significantly increase our risk of early death. Strengthening our understanding of preventable health problems and encouraging early detection and treatment of disease is an important topic, and Movember has placed a spotlight on men’s physical and mental health.
As an official global charity, Movember is on a mission to help men break the barriers and talk about their health by raising funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer. Across the world, men are growing their facial hair in support of an international outreach program that has raised over $147 million to date. Even for those who can’t grow a mustache, getting involved in Movember is a fun and innovative collaboration that is changing the face of men’s health.
The State of Men’s Health
In the U.S., 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. 1 in 6 of these cases are prostate cancer, the most frequently occurring cancer in men. Prostate cancer is seen most often in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare to be seen under the age of 40. For younger men aged 15 to 35, testicular cancer is more a cause for concern, although the chance of developing it is much lower, about 1 in 270 (ACS, 2013). Prostate and testicular cancer are highly treatable if detected early, yet men are 56 percent less likely to visit the doctor for any reason, utilizing half as many preventive care visits than women (Moss, 2012). Many premature deaths among men are preventable, and each of us can help by expanding our knowledge of the health risks men face.
Stay Active to Reduce Your Risks
It’s no secret that regular physical activity can improve your health by helping to control weight and maintain healthy bones and tissues, as well as reduce the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Did you know that regular exercise may also reduce the risk of certain cancers? On many levels, exercise helps us to be physically and mentally well, but it is also possible that men who are physically active experience a reduction in the risk of cancer related to changes in hormone efficiency, energy balance, insulin sensitivity, and improved immunity (NCI, 2009). During the month of November, many local gyms, businesses, and individuals will be hosting donation-only events to get fit while spreading the word — keep an eye on the Movember Events page for key dates in your area.
Getting Involved in Movember
In 2012, over a million men and women participated in Movember events that included 5K runs, gala parties and, of course, the growing of the mustache. This year, no shortage of opportunities exist in raising awareness for men’s health, whether it be in the workplace, in your community, on campus, or in your own home. To get started, head over to the Movember website and register as an individual or part of a team to create your own donation page that allows you to spread the word about your involvement, as well as keep track of special events to network with participants in your area. Here, you will find tips on how to get involved, by spurring a friendly competition in your office or industry to see who can grow the most impressive mustache while raising funds and fueling conversations about men’s health. The opportunities are endless and the contributions are priceless — cheers to men’s health and happy MOvember to all!
- American Cancer Society. (2013, Aug 26). Key statistics about prostate cancer. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-key-statistics
- Moss, E. (2012). Spotlight on men’s health. Informally published manuscript, School of Nursing & Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., Retrieved from http://online.nursing.georgetown.edu/spotlight-on-mens-health/
- National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. (2009). Physical activity and cancer. Retrieved from website: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/physicalactivity