Many people relate Movember to growing a beard famously known as ‘No Shave November’. Majority of the people do it for fun. Let us dig deep into what Movember really means.

Movember began in Australia in 2003 to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers, according to the Movember Foundation, a nonprofit that raised nearly $21 million in 2013.

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide. By encouraging men to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths.

To participate in Movember, simply grow out your facial hair every day during the month of November, start as many conversations about men’s health as you can, and raise awareness on men’s health.

The key drives for Movember include but are not limited to;

  • Giving men the facts on key health issues
  • Encouraging men to change lifestyle and behavior for the better
  • Work in Creating services that work for men
  • Bringing facts together from community and advocate for men

Many of the common diseases that men often suffer from are preventable. However, the only way we can prevent ourselves from developing disease and living a long, healthy life is by knowing the facts and knowing how to protect ourselves.

 

What are some of the common diseases in men?

  1. Coronary Artery Disease - High cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes are some of the conditions that can lead to heart disease. Keep your cholesterol low, maintain a healthy weight and diet, get regular exercise, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, keep your blood sugar under control, and if necessary, discuss options with your doctor regarding medications.
  2. Cancer (Lung, Prostate, Colorectal and Testicular) - While cancers are not always preventable, early detection saves lives. Have routine preventive screenings, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, maintain a healthy weight and diet, exercise regularly, limit sun exposure and use sunscreen, be aware of carcinogens, and know your family’s medical history.
  3. Stroke - The leading risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, carotid or other artery disease, atrial fibrillation or other heart disease, TIAs (mini-strokes), high red blood cell count, sickle cell anemia, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake and some illegal drugs.
  4. Diabetes - Type 2 Diabetes affects 90 percent of those with the disease. The best way to prevent or control the onset of diabetes is by knowing the risk factors that can be modified and those that can’t. Modifiable: Overweight and obesity, high blood glucose, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, physical inactivity, smoking. Non-modifiable: Age, race, gender, and family history.

While not all diseases, especially cancers, are preventable, early detection saves lives. Therefore, in addition to raising awareness for others, it’s important that all men celebrate Movember for themselves too. Even if you feel good, you should make regular visits to your doctor to screen for health issues, assess your risk of future health issues, stay up to date with vaccinations, and discuss how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So go ahead and keep that beard on.