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The first time I heard about Movember, I think it must have been about 10 years ago. I was dating my husband back then and one morning he announced that he’s going to keep a moustache going in November and will raise money for the charity movement. Many men are diagnosed with cancer or are affected by mental health problems during their lives. Luckily, treatment options are continuing to advance fast thanks to research and science. Care and daily living aids are also more accessible and tailored than ever before. Charities like Movember start from someone’s real experience and wanting to do something about it – to help others in the same shoes out of genuine compassion.
What is Movember?
Well, I’m sure you came across Movember over the past years, since they have been successfully running their autumn campaigns every November. Movember aims to fundraise and raise awareness for prostate cancer and testicular cancer as well as mental health and suicide prevention. Regular health checks and self-checks are crucial parts of the movement – the earlier the cancer is detected, the better the survival rate. Movember started in 2003 and during November, men keep their mustaches to raise awareness and funds for important men’s health projects. Since the beginning, Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, challenging the status quo, shaking up men’s health research, and transforming the way health services reach and support men. Year after year they have supported and funded many medical breakthrough projects: identifying that there are 25+ different kinds of prostate cancer by the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan, the world’s first ever Prostate Cancer Genome Mapping or two drugs to treat advanced prostate cancer got FDA approval. Movember has been able to reach millions of people because of the cool approach of raising awareness and also because so many men are affected.
Prevention is key
Prevention is important. We all know that – but are we actually doing enough in this field? There are ways we can reduce the risks of getting ill, prostate cancer as well as testicular cancer risks can be reduced too, whilst there isn’t a sure way, a healthy diet (low in fat as well as dairy and rich in fruit and vegetables), maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise can help to prevent a lot of illnesses. Some men are more at risk, because of genetics for example, and it’s worth seeing if there may be other options for risk reduction, such as pre-emptive medications. A visit to the doctor is never wasted, or for regular checks at home, you may want to invest in a health monitor such as those available from Complete Care Shop.
Self-checking has a pivotal role
In the case of testicular cancer, regular self-testing is very important – just like women should check their breasts regularly. It can help to detect problems at an early stage, or it might be nothing to be worried about – but if you find anything unusual during the regular checks, consult with your GP. Cancer is more treatable if caught in the early stage, so self-checking saves lives.
Mental health and suicidal prevention
Although helping to fund mental health projects earlier, Movember moved to help address the long-term mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 by funding 34 different health projects. This was followed by other mental health and suicide prevention projects in the next year and they also launched Family Man, an online program for dads. Their mental health and suicide prevention programs have become another pillar of charitable activities along with male cancer prevention. Movember upped its game of raising awareness by educating young people and changing the conversation regarding mental health issues. Their core message is to talk more about it, openly and honestly. They are simultaneously tackling lifting the mental health stigmas and helping people to cope with mental health problems by talking about it to someone trustworthy. For example, many young men in professional sports face these challenges by bringing the athletes, the coaches, and the parents together and encouraging them to have open discussions. Asking for help is the first step on the way to recovery but it’s often the hardest.
In conclusion, Movember is more than just a month where men grow moustaches; it’s a powerful movement that has made significant strides in raising awareness and funds for critical issues affecting men’s health. Over the past decade, my personal connection to Movember has allowed me to witness the positive impact this initiative has on the lives of countless men.
In essence, Movember is not just about growing facial hair; it’s a movement that encourages dialogue, raises awareness, and fosters proactive measures for men’s health.