A Primer On Men’s Health and Movember
As we enter fall and the month of November, men around the world are celebrating their health with the concept of Movember. In 1999, Seven Nightly News aired a story about a group of young men in Adelaide, South Australia who coined the term “Movember” (also known as no shave November). The annual event is intended to raise awareness of men’s health issues by having men around the world grow mustaches in order to “change the face of men’s health”.
Men’s health is important to bring to light as many men are resistant to seeking health care and especially preventive care. With this in mind, we all need to remember that good health is something we often take for granted. Men need to remember that stress, mental well-being and overall attention to getting proper screening tests such as prostate, skin and other cancer screens as well as keen attention to cardiovascular health are of the utmost importance to longevity, vitality and well-being.
The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event in order to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatments and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths in men by adopting healthier lifestyle. Many countries over the years have participated and over $174 million has been raised worldwide since its inception. In 2010, participants in the United States alone raised over $7.5 million and by 2012, 1.1 million people have signed up to participate raising proceeds of over $95 million.
Women are frequently seeking health care during the childbearing years, which brings them in to seek medical attention on a more consistent basis. Men on the other hand, typically only seek care when they feel that something is “wrong” or that something needs to be “fixed”. The truth is that men need to have ongoing regular medical visits throughout the course of their lives as well.
Health Exams That All Men Should Be Aware
As a youth, testicular exams, eye exams, discussions about prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and periodic lab testing for things such as cholesterol, as well as considering the needs for vaccinations are important.
In the middle years, skin exams, cardiovascular screens for heart disease and learning coping skills for stress management become increasingly important.
In the later years, more vigilance with screening for things such as cancers are issues to keep in mind.
As for the question, do men’s mustaches enhance health? If we remember that a mustache needs close monitoring, grooming and supervision in order to avoid becoming “unruly” and “out of control”…then YES — if it takes a man growing a mustache for him to be more mindful of his health then, I say…LET THE GROWING BEGIN!!
Here’s to a safe, healthy and happy Movember as we celebrate the health of men world wide!
Here’s to the best of your health!
Elizabeth Salada MD MPH
Internal Medicine and Wellness