Everything You Need to Know About Movember

Everything You Need to Know About Movember

During the month of November, you might start to see more mustaches around. The pharmacist’s got one; your coworkers are entering Zoom calls with onset peach fuzz; even your cousin’s suddenly sporting a mustachioed Facebook profile picture. 

Seems like mustaches are everywhere. 

Well, it’s not just because it’s getting colder. The influx of mouth brows is a sign of men participating in Movember! Mo/November is the month dedicated to growing out a mustache—with the least risk of looking creepy (in the event that your epic push-broom stache doesn’t sprout as quickly as you hoped).

In case our state-side audience is wondering about where the “MO” bit comes from in Movember, Mo isn’t short for “Mo Hair.” “Mo” is, in fact, the Australian/British diminutive word for mustache.

The roots of Movember go back to a couple of friends having a chat in a pub in Australia back in 2003. These mates from down under decided to grow mustaches for 30 days to spark conversations about prostate cancer and men's mental health.

Now Movember has become more than a fun social challenge. It’s a full-on, global movement with a supporting non-profit foundation. The Movember non-profit group is dedicated to helping raise awareness about prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. 

Why a Whole Month Dedicated to Men’s Prostates? 

So why have a whole month dedicated to generating conversations about men’s genital health? Sounds kind of like sexual harassment. 

Well, for one thing, it’s about more than just prostates. And for another, the hush hush around the topic is exactly the issue. Men’s prostate health, testicular health, and mental health are three things nobody’s ever quick to bring up. And men are suffering for it. 

Bringing Men’s Health Risks to Light

By staying quiet about health problems or early signs, men put themselves at risk for cancer and other health problems that might be prevented by communication and early prevention.

Risk of Prostate Cancer 

Firstly, prostate cancer is like the ninja of cancers—it often sneaks in without making a fuss. The American Cancer Society says: 

“Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The American Cancer Society's estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2023 are: About 288,300 new cases of prostate cancer.

While the exact cause is unknown, several risk factors contribute to the development of prostate cancer. Age plays a significant role, with the risk increasing as men get older. Family history, race, and certain genetic factors also contribute. African-American men, for instance, have a higher risk compared to other racial and ethnic groups.

Risk of Testicular Cancer 

Testicular cancer may be less common, but it's a fast mover. The good news? It's highly treatable, especially when caught early. 

Common symptoms of testicular cancer include a painless lump or swelling in the testicle, discomfort or pain in the testicle or scrotum, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, and sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum.

The good news is that the overall survival rate for testicular cancer is high, especially when diagnosed and treated at an early stage. Even in cases where the cancer has spread beyond the testicles, treatment outcomes are generally favorable.

So, growing a mustache isn't just about looking good; it's a visual cue to remind everyone to keep an eye on their crown jewels and catch any irregularities pronto.

Risk of Mental Illness and Suicide 

Middle-aged white men have the highest rate of suicide of any other demographic in the United States. On average, there are 132 suicides per day and white males accounted for 69.68% of suicide deaths in 2021. 

Why is that? 

It's not a simple story, but we'll break down 5 key factors that play a part. Understanding these barriers to getting help is a step toward finding ways to support those who need it most.

  1. Stigma and Help-Seeking: Societal expectations may discourage middle-aged white men from seeking mental health help due to stigma around vulnerability.
  2. Isolation and Life Changes: Life transitions like career shifts or empty nest syndrome, coupled with self-reliance expectations, can lead to isolation and loneliness.
  3. Access to Lethal Means: Easier access to lethal means, particularly firearms, may increase the risk of completed suicide attempts in middle-aged white men.
  4. Substance Abuse Influence: Substance abuse issues, linked to mental health problems, can contribute to impulsivity and elevate the risk of suicide.
  5. Cultural and Societal Expectations: Traditional ideals of masculinity may pressure men to conform to notions of strength, hindering their ability to cope with stress and seek help.

It's important to acknowledge the complexity of these factors and recognize that mental health challenges impact individuals across diverse demographics.

Unfortunately, guys, we're known for keeping things bottled up. Movember's all about breaking that stereotype and normalizing reaching out when we need help.

What Are the Men’s Health Check-ups I Should Get? 

Great question. You want to take action for your own health and invest in your future. Here are some first-line-of-defense actions you can take to protect your manhood and your overall health.

First Off, Regular Check-ups 

Just like you'd give your car a regular tune-up, your body needs a check-in too. Regular health check-ups with your doctor can catch potential issues early, and that's crucial for all-around well-being.

Prostate Health Check

For the prostate, a chat with your doctor about when and how to start prostate cancer screenings is key. That usually involves a blood test checking for PSA levels and maybe a follow-up chat about other options. It's not as daunting as it sounds!

Testicular Self-Exams

For the crown jewels, a good practice is doing regular self-exams. Feel around for any changes, lumps, or anything that seems off. It's like being your own detective – no Sherlock hat required.

Know Your Family History

If Uncle Bob or someone in the family had a run-in with cancer, it's worth mentioning to your doc. Family history can be a clue, and they can guide you on extra precautions or screenings.

Lifestyle Matters Too 

Believe it or not, lifestyle choices can be MVPs in the prevention game. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and steering clear of tobacco and excess booze – these are like the main players in cancer prevention.

While there's no superhero cape to completely shield you from every health curveball, keeping up with regular check-ups and a healthy lifestyle is your best bet. And remember, talking to your doc about your concerns is never a bad idea – they're there to help, not to scare you off. 

You might also consider supplementing your diet to support your prostate and overall health. We recommend Beta-Sitosterol for Men and Saw Palmetto+ for prostate health support. 

How Can You Participate in Movember? 

Getting involved in Movember is a fantastic way to join the global movement for men's health. Whether you're growing a Mo or supporting those who are, here's a lowdown on how you can contribute to the cause.

  1. Grow a Mo (or Support Someone Who Is):

The classic move! Grow out that mustache during November. It's not just facial hair; it's a conversation starter about men's health. And if growing a Mo isn't your style, you can still support a friend, colleague, or family member who's getting hairy for a good cause.

  1. Attend or Host Movember Events:

Look out for local Movember events or, better yet, organize one yourself! Whether it's a mustache-themed party, a charity run, or a simple get-together, events are a great way to gather support and funds.

  1. Spread the Word:

Use your social media superpowers! Share Movember posts, infographics, and your own journey. The more people know about Movember, the more conversations we spark about men's health.

Wrap Up 

In the whirlwind of mustaches and meaningful chats, Movember is our call to arms for men's health. It's not just about growing a Mo; it's a symbol of breaking stereotypes and having open talks about prostate, testicular health, and mental well-being. 

Health check-ups are our armor, and whether you're growing a Mo or supporting the cause, Movember propels us toward a future where men's health isn't just talked about but actively looked after. 

So keep the conversations going, grow awareness, and stand together—one mustache, one check-up, one chat at a time.

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