A word to the wise:
In the words of Movember, they are “the charity tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.” As a company Movember works year-round to help men with their health. Statistically men are dying 6 years earlier than woman, and Movember believes this is largely preventable. The Movember movement has a call for action that is meant to raise awareness, inspire donations, conversations and real change. So, go ahead gentleman and grow those beautiful mustaches during the month of November. And all you girlfriends and wives out there, try your best to put up with the mustaches that just aren’t that beautiful, it’s for a good cause!
It’s that time of year again. In an attempt to raise awareness, men grow out the best lip sweater they can muster and woman everyone cringe at the sight of them. But rest assured that the efforts are worth it. Similar to Breast Cancer Awareness Month which spans throughout the month of October, Movember spans throughout the month of November. Its focus is to raise awareness for man specific cancers as well as mental health and suicide prevention.
Movember 2018 is the second time I have participated by growing a mustache myself. The first time was in 2013, I believe. It was an interesting Movember to say the least. While walking through the halls of my College, a student newspaper photographer asked if they could take my photo for their Movember article, I happily obliged.
The following week a friend of mine, clearly holding in laughter, passed me a copy of the school newspaper. On the front page there was an assortment of students with mustaches both cringeworthy and others quite well grown. Each student was put into a category of stashes: biggest, sexiest, creepiest, and most natural. To my shock and embarrassment, I was included in the competition for sexiest mustache.
Now you may be thinking, well that’s a good category to be lump into! Well it wasn’t. It mostly ended up with my friends assuring me it was not a sexy mustache and, in the end, losing the competition completely. I can’t blame them though; my mustache was mediocre at best! Looking back, I wish I had kept a copy of that magazine, because it would be quite a laugh to look back at today.
This year my goal is simple. Increase awareness, raise money, and attempt to grow a mustache that won’t totally embarrass me in the office. (It’s been about 5+ years since the last time I’ve had a clean-shaven face!)
The prostate gland is only found in men. It sits underneath the bladder and is approximately the size of a walnut. It gets bigger the older you are and is susceptible to cancer. Unfortunately, if prostate cancer is detected late there is only a 26% chance of survival beyond 5 years. Fortunately, with increased awareness and early detection there is a 98% chance of survival beyond 5 years. This really emphasises the importance of Movember and its goal to raise awareness and start conversations with men about their health.
Here’s the rule of thumb that Movember suggests: If you are of African or Caribbean descent or have a family history of prostate cancer, get checked by a doctor at the age of 45. For everyone else, it is suggested that by age 50 you should open up discussion with your doctor and get checked out.
Unlike prostate cancer which becomes more likely the older you get; testicular cancer is commonly diagnosed to young men. Testicular cancer is something that you can generally do a check-up on yourself. Similar to females giving themselves a self-examination for breast cancer. It is suggested that men should check themselves monthly to make sure there are no irregularities such as lumps or pain. Here is their guide and video.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, go get yourself check out at your family doctor. Testicular cancer is highly treatable if it is diagnosed and treated early enough.
Mental Health & Suicide Prevention:
Mental health is a huge issue for both men and woman. What makes men’s mental health unique is the fact that it is not talked about enough. Male’s in general have had, for a long time, a stigma of having to always “be a man”, “be strong”, “not complain” and etc. Because of this, men are often scared to open up about their feelings and mental health with family and friends. Movember aims to open up discussion about mental health and make it acceptable for men to be more open with their issues.
- Encourage action
- Check in
Whether you are a male or female, it’s important to talk about mental health. 1 in 10 Canadian men will experience major depression in their lives. That’s a scary statistic if you ask me. To think that 1 in 10 of the men you know, whether it’s your boyfriend, father, brother, cousin, or friend has or will have serious depression. According to Movember.com, 75% of suicides are men. Raise awareness, talk, ask, listen, encourage action, and check in often. [LINK]
How to Donate:
Simple, for the month of November I will be growing my mustache. While that is happening, I invite any family, friends and interested strangers to donate to my stash in support of men’s health. In return for those contributions, I will grow the best mustache I can!
Has Movember directly helped you or someone close to you? Are you currently participating yourself and want to show off your stash to the world? Leave us a comment below to let is know what Movember means to you.