Which Men’s Health Topics Will You Discuss During Movember?
As the month of November begins, more and more men are choosing to skip their regular shaving practices to grow a moustache for ‘Movember’ whilst creating worldwide conversations about men’s health issues.
The Movember Foundations started in 2004 in Australia with a group of 30 men who decided to grow their moustaches for 30 days as a way of raising awareness of men’s health issues.
Since it’s inception, the foundation has successfully raised almost $600 million to help bring men’s health issues into the public domain. But not all of us can or want to grow a moustache. Women and men who want to take part in raising awareness for men’s health issues can, instead, participate in ‘Move for November’, an alternative campaign also aimed at promoting physical fitness.
Even though the popularity of Movember has reduced slightly, due to facial hair becoming a more popular everyday style choice with men, the awareness it promotes is as relevant today as it was 14 years ago.
Most of the Movember efforts focus on the three most important health issues men face: prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health, with suicide as a focus.
Prostate cancer will affect one in 8 men during their lifetime. Early stages of the illness show no symptoms. However, this type of cancer can sometimes be detected during examinations before symptoms develop. This makes the training of health practitioners and students with accurate medical models a priority.
Patients should also be educated to understand how their bodies work and the risk factors associated with prostate cancer.
Men over 50 are at a higher risk of being diagnosed, with the average age being between 65 and 69. A family history of prostate or breast cancer will also raise the risk of being diagnosed. Black men and men of black-heritage have an even higher risk with one-quarter being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Maintaining a healthy weight does not seem to have an effect on the rate of diagnosis. However, men who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of being diagnosed with an aggressive form of the cancer.
The most effective way to fight prostate cancer and increase the levels of survival is to promote early detection by raising the level of patient education regarding the urinary system and the prostate in particular.
Even though testicular cancer is not as well-known among the general public, it is just as much of a concern as prostate cancer. The number of men affected is low, but as the age of onset is between 20 and 35, many young men tend to ignore early symptoms and testicle cancer is usually diagnosed at a later stage than prostate cancer. This makes treatment longer and riskier, with an increased possibility of infertility as a result.
Early symptoms that should not be ignored include: a lump or mass in one or both of the testicles, pain in the lower abdomen or scrotum, breast enlargement and low back pain. Enlarged testicles are rare but not uncommon. A family history of testicular cancer increases the risk of being diagnosed.
As with prostate cancer, a physical exam is the first line of diagnosis. This means general health practitioners and those dealing with men should have access to high-quality educational models that can be used to practice testicular examinations on a regular basis.
Mental health carries a stigma regardless of gender. However, for men who may be raised to show strength of character it can be harder to be open about any mental health issues they may be dealing with.
In the UK 78% of suicide victims are men, but men are only half as likely to be diagnosed with a common mental health problem. Once diagnosed, women are almost twice as likely to receive treatment.
Mental health problems can appear at any age and can affect anyone whether they have a family history of mental illness or not. The most common mental health problems are depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, generalised anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.
3B Scientific facilitates health practitioners and their patients with a comprehensive range of highly realistic medical anatomy models to encourage discussion and education. We encourage everyone to join one of the fundraiser events happening this Movember so we that can all openly raise awareness of men’s health issues.