All around the world during the month of November men put down their razors to raise awareness about men’s health issues, including the big 4: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Fathers, brothers, partners and friends are facing a health crisis that hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves. Men are dying, on average, six years before women. Prostate cancer kills 45 men every hour. Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men under 40. And every minute, a man dies from suicide.
Those statistics can be a little overwhelming, but they don’t have to be.
So whether you’re a man or a woman who cares about the men in her life, here are 6 things to do now to improve men’s health:
- Sleep and exercise: These aren’t just suggestions.
- Men who sleep 7-8 hours a night are at a 60% less risk of a fatal heart attack than men who only get five hours of sleep.
- Men who climb 50 stairs or walk five city blocks a day may lower their risk of heart attack by 25%, while inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer from depression than those who are active.
- Don’t believe that it all comes down to genetics.
- Only 30% of a man’s genes affect his health, the other 70% of his overall health is controlled by lifestyle choices.
- Perform a regular self-exam.
- Testicular cancer strikes young and not enough men know their bodies. Just like women, men should perform regular self-exams. If they notice any irregularities they should get a second opinion from their doctor. For more tips on how, check out the Movember website.
- Don’t put off doctors visits or trips to the dentist for regular checkups.
- We recommend seeing your dentist every six months as oral health can offer early warnings to several other health issues.
- When men turn 50 they should start having prostate cancer screenings, which is a simple round of blood work. For men with a family history of prostate cancer or men who are African American, they need to start these screenings at age 45.
- Get established with a primary care physician.
- It’s important to have a regular doctor, instead of just fumbling into the nearest urgent clinic when the dreaded man-cold strikes.
Wondering where all of these hairy men came from?
“Movember” was established in 2003 by a group of college friends in Melbourne, Australia. Moustaches were out of fashion at the time, so they were perfect conversation starters. Realizing the opportunity they had on their hands, in 2004, 480 “Mo Bros” came together to raise $40,851 and donated it to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
From its humble origins, the Movember Foundation has spread globally and has more than 5.5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas participating in the fundraising. Since 2003, they have raised 645.2 million dollars (that number doesn’t include what’s been raised this month). By 2030, their goal is to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. To date, they’ve funded over 1,200 projects and have 20 partners in 21 countries.
“This Movember, be the difference in a man’s life.”
The Movember Foundation is currently ranked 49th out of the top 500 non-governmental organizations around the world. For more information on the organization, or to donate, visit https://us.movember.com/?home