As the only global charity tackling men’s health issues year-round, the Movember Foundation’s only goal is to stop men from dying too young. You may have seen an influx of moustaches during the month of November. Annually, men grow out their moustaches for Movember to raise awareness of men’s health issues.
Not only is the moustache a fantastic conversation starter among men, but fundraising for Movember also supports pressing men’s health issues like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
The statistics regarding men’s mortality are alarming. It’s estimated that more than 34,000 men die by suicide each year in the United States, which accounts for 77 percent of all suicides. Testicular cancer strikes young and is the most common cancer among 15-44 year-olds. One in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and it’s predicted that 29,430 men will die from prostate cancer this year.
The good news is that if diagnosed early, the survival rate for both prostate and testicular cancer is 99 percent. Early diagnosis saves lives. So, men, here’s what you need to do: If you’re African American or have a father or brother who has had prostate cancer, once you hit 45, talk to your doctor to see whether it’s right for you to have a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Otherwise, check back for your 50th birthday.
Take the time to learn the norm for your testicles to check yourself for testicular cancer. Roll one testicle between thumb and fingers and repeat with the other. Once you have a good understanding of what is normal for you or if anything changes, head to the doctor.
And lastly, fellas, it’s time to have an honest conversation about mental health. Everyone goes through rough times, and you don’t have to do it alone. Make time for the men in your life by calling, catching up and meeting up regularly. If a friend comes to you, take the time to really listen. Push past feeling uncomfortable and break the silence. Together we can take a stand and ensure that our men live happier, healthier, longer lives.
Note: To reach out for help, or to learn how to talk to a friend who may be in need of support, visit Movember.com or contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255.
Owen Sharp, CEO, Movember Foundation, [email protected]