Globally, on average men die six years earlier than women, through largely preventable reasons.1 Movember, the leading charity tackling men’s health issues, aims to raise further awareness of these issues through its ‘Movember’ campaign which sees around 5 million men across the world annually grow a moustache for the month of November.2
Movember can be fun, especially when one of your friends turns up sporting a huge moustache, however there is a very serious message associated with this campaign. It aims to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention, and reduce the number of men dying too young by 25% by 2030.3
Dealing with any type of adversity such as cancer takes a great deal of resilience, however getting involved in the spirit of Movember is a great way to highlight the issues around men's health and cancer in general, whilst also having fun!
Here are some of Movember’s top things men can do to help live healthier, happier and longer lives.
1. Check yourself for lumps and bumps
There are around 2,400 new cases of testicular cancer every year in the UK – that’s more than 6 a day – making it so important to check your testicles.4 This is something you should do regularly so you can get to know what’s normal for you, quickly identifying any abnormal lumps or bumps. The more you do it, the easier it will become – you can follow this video if you’re unsure.
2. PSA test
A PSA (or Prostate Specific Antigen) test isn’t as scary as it sounds – it’s a simple routine blood test to detect prostate cancer. The great thing is, if detected early the survival rate is better than 98%, but can be as low as 26% if you find it late.5 If you’re 50, then it’s time to speak to your GP regarding a test, or at 45 if you’ve an immediate family member with a history of prostate cancer.3
3. Talk and listen more
In the UK, 75% of suicides are men.6 So what can we do to help reduce this number? Movember’s top tips are:
- Encourage action
- Check in
Following these simple steps might not sound ground-breaking, but it could help to save the life of someone who might be mentally unwell.
Remember: it’s okay not to be okay. Too many men are toughing it out and struggling alone. If something is bothering you, then discuss it with somebody you trust in a safe environment.
4. Get active
Move more, and add more activity to your day. This could be anything from parking further away from the station on your way to work, to cycling to work instead of driving, or simply taking the stairs instead of the lift. Men are more likely to be obese or overweight than women; 67% of men have a body mass index above ‘normal’ vs 61% of women,7 so by including more activity in your day to day life, you’ll help to reduce your chances of being overweight.
For more reading or to get involved with this year’s campaign go to uk.movember.com
- Mental health: you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you’d like to chat to someone about any struggles you may be facing
- Prostate cancer: you can speak to a specialist nurse Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm by calling 0800 074 8383
- Testicular cancer: you can speak to a Macmillan nurse 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm on 0808 808 00 00