It’s November – which means men all over the country are growing mustaches. But not because they look great in a mustache. They’re doing it for a cause called: “Movember.”
What Is Movember?
This month, millions of men across the Unites States are growing mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health, including issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. The movement started in 2003 when the Movember Foundation began raising money to fund projects that reduce the number of men dying prematurely in the U.S. Thus far, the organization has funded “more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world.”
According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), the Movember Foundation has enabled, “the discovery of novel tools to better diagnose prostate cancer earlier and generate precision treatment strategies for new, targeted medicines for advanced cases of the disease.”
Learn About Screenings
Though new research and projects are essential to better diagnose and treat these cancers, it is very important to live a healthy lifestyle and get regular screenings, as well.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided a cheat sheet to cancer screenings and good health for men to utilize. Though they have made this cheat sheet available, they state to “*Talk with your doctor about when and how often you should be screened. Depending on your personal health history, family health history, or screening results, your doctor may recommend a different screening schedule.”
Below is the cheat sheet provided from the CDC:
|Type of Cancer||Screening Method||When to Get Screened*|
|Colorectal (colon) cancer||Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or fecal occult blood testing (FOBT)||If you are 50 to 75 years old, get tested. The schedule depends on the type of test used.|
|Lung cancer||Low-dose CT scan||If you are 55 to 80 years old and are a heavy smoker or a past smoker who quit within the last 15 years, get a low-dose CT scan every year.|
|Prostate cancer||Digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) test||Talk to your doctor. The USPSTF recommends against PSA screening for men who do not have symptoms.|
|Skin cancer||Periodic total-body examinations by a clinician||Talk to your doctor. The USPSTF has concluded that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against routine skin cancer screening.|
Live A Healthy Lifestyle
In addition to screenings, living a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce your risk of developing cancer. The CDC recommends “keeping a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco, limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, and protecting your skin.” Eating healthy and staying active are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight.
It’s also important to know and pay attention to symptoms of cancer for men. Depending on the cancer, there are a variety of symptoms to look out for as you age. An article from WebMD offers “15 Cancer Symptoms That Men Shouldn’t Ignore.” To view the entire article, click HERE.
Spreading awareness for men’s health is the first step to change, and getting regular screenings, understanding symptoms, and living a healthy lifestyle go a long way. So, grow a mustache this month, men, and take action to live a healthy lifestyle! The YMCA offers various healthy living programs to get you on track including Tobacco Cessation, Diabetes Prevention, Cancer Survivor Programs, and more.
Your health matters and we wish to see every man living long, healthy, happy lives. Happy November.
–Emily Sanville, Digital Communications Coordinator