November or Movember is the un-official start of the holiday season here in the US. It is also a month dedicated to men’s health awareness across the globe, which started 20+ years ago in Australia and has since become a worldwide undertaking.
Those hipster mustaches you see on men during the month of November help raise awareness and spread an important message that our fathers, brothers, partners, and friends are facing a silent health crisis – they are dying too young.
We can no longer afford to stay silent. Due to various social factors, men often do not talk about their health and well-being or reach out to others for help. Mental health and suicide, prostate cancer and testicular cancer are claiming the lives of men too often and too soon. And, since we are a skincare company, we are adding skin cancer to this list of men’s health issues.
- Build a tribe and stay connected. Spend time with people who make you feel good and who make you feel like part of a community. There’s nothing more powerful and healing than being with those who reinforce your self-worth, self-confidence, and celebrate you for who you are.
- Talk more and reach out. Socially, men tend to shy away from talking about how they feel, especially if they are not feeling mentally solid. Men are socialized to believe that they should just push through and tough it out because they fear being perceived as weak. Be okay with speaking to your tribe about things you’re not feeling good about – like your job, family, love life or anything that just feels off. Be okay with reaching out to professional therapists or your doctor to let them know if you have been feeling down. It is okay! Depression is often referred to as the silent killer because of the social stigma. Statistics show that over 6 million men in the US suffer from depression yet male depression often goes undiagnosed. With suicide rates on the rise across the US, it’s important to address the dangers of untreated depression as well as the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Mental health resources: https://headsupguys.org/reach-out/call-a-healthline/
- Know the stats. It is the most common diagnosed cancer in the US. Risk of prostate cancer increase with age but it’s not just an old man’s disease. Men 40+, men with a family history of prostate cancers and African American men have an increased risk of prostate cancer. When you’re 50 have a conversation with your physician about getting a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test to determine the concentration in your blood. This is the primary test for prostate cancer.
Know the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. Keep in mind, not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer.
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
- Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
- For more comprehensive information click thru to Movember’s Prostate info Guide: https://cdn.movember.com/uploads/files/News/Prostate_Cancer_Guide_US.pdf
- Early detection is key. When caught early, testicular cancer is highly treatable and highly curable. Get to know your nuts and check them regularly. 70% of men say they have never or do not regularly check their nuts. Getting to know what feels normal can help you identify when something feels off, which could be an early sign of testicular cancer. The fact is that similar preventative measures for women and breast cancer have saved countless women’s lives. The same preventative self-check can save men’s lives.
- Movember has a useful testicular cancer guide that’s worth reading. https://nutsandbolts.movember.com/?utm_source=movember_tcpage&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=20210413_ktncampaign
And Don’t Forget About Skin Cancer
While Movember focuses on suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer, our Movember celebration (naturally) includes skin cancer prevention / awareness as part of a healthy skincare routine for men. Performing a monthly skin self-check helps men prevent premature death. As with any cancers, early detection is key. So, what does a self-check entail? Just follow the simple steps below:
- Examine your body, front and back, in a full-length mirror, paying special attention to your legs
- Bend your elbows and examine your forearms, the back of your upper arms, and your palms
- Look at your feet, including the spaces between your toes
- Use a hand mirror to look at the back of your neck and your scalp
- Examine your buttock and back with a hand mirror
- If you have a full beard, do check the skin under the beard as well.
How can you tell the difference between ordinary moles and ones that require attention from a board-certified dermatologist? As the American Academy of Dermatology says, you can use the ABCDE trick as your guide. Make an appointment if you see:
- Asymmetrical moles
- Borders of spots that are patchy and uneven
- Colorful moles or moles that change in color
- Diameters of spots that are large
- Evolving moles
It is important to visit your physician annually, at a minimum, for a general health check-up and visit a board-certified dermatologist to check on the health of your skin - the largest organ on your body!
How to Spot Skin Cancer from American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/how-to-spot-skin-cancer