Are you rocking the stash? You may notice the men in your life this month growing out their beards and showing off their moustache.
November or ‘Movember' marks men’s health awareness month. The moustache is symbolic as men sport the stash to raise awareness and funds for men’s health (1). The Movember movement raises funds to support groundbreaking health research projects for men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer (1).
START THE CONVERSATION
Men’s health is in crisis. Men are dying on average six years younger than women (1). Men tend to be less likely to talk about what’s going on in their lives, in particular their personal and health struggles. A lack of communication with friends and family members, can often leave men feeling isolated and alone. It’s time we start the conversation and support the boys and men in our lives to share their experiences. Men face more significant barriers when it comes to seeking help. Societal attitudes around masculinity have contributed to the silencing of men’s health issues (2).
Lack of acknowledgement to early signs and symptoms among men, can often lead to a late stage diagnosis of cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide (1). Stats show that 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime (1). Early intervention, prevention, and awareness are key to avoiding the adverse impacts of both prostate and testicular cancer. Prostate cancer occurs when cells of the prostate reproduce rapidly leading to tumour growth (1). When compared to other cancers, testicular cancer is rare. However, this cancer is the most common cancer for young men ages 15-39 (1).
KNOW THE RISK FACTORS
Prostate Cancer (3).
Age - prostate cancer is most commonly diagnosed in men after the age of 50.
Race - There is a higher prevalence of prostate cancer among black men.
Family History - Prostate cancer runs in the family. Prostate cancer develops because of a link of shared genes. Find out if prostate cancer runs in your family.
Testicular Cancer (4).
Age - more than half of men diagnosed with testicular cancer are between the ages of 20-45.
Race - Testicular cancer can show up in men of all different races/ethnic backgrounds. However, is reported to predominately occur in white men.
Family History - If you have a family member or relative who has had testicular cancer you have a higher likelihood of developing testicular cancer. Ask questions and find out your family history.
RURAL HEALTH CARE ACCESSIBILITY
Individuals living in rural communities encounter more significant barriers when it comes to accessing health care services. Rural residents are often required to travel further distances, in order to access health care. Health care services in rural communities can also experience greater shortages in medical support, supplies, and fewer choices for trained professionals (5). Therefore, rural residents may be required to commute into urban centres to receive treatments and access adequate care. Travel and limited accessibility to health care services can pose a hindrance to rural residents when it comes to following through with regular health check ups. Rural men in particular, may be less likely to access early prevention screenings and attend regular check ups due to accessibility of care.
CALL TO ACTION
Grow a Moustache. Raise funds and awareness for Men’s Health. Join the grow a Mo Movement …. Click Here (movember.com).
Pay attention to your health. Have conversations with the men in your life.
Go for a regular physical check up with your doctor. Understand your family history and risk factors.
Ask for help and support. Reach out to a trusted family member or friend.
Let’s pay attention to men’s health and open the door to conversations. Start the conversation, educate others and share your knowledge. Show support to the men in your life not just this month, but all year round.