Apparently, the doctors of Ancient Egypt urged their patients to shave as a way of preserving good health. Five thousand years on, it would seem that just the opposite is being encouraged during the month of November. As the eve of Movember nears, men around the globe are getting ready to grow a moustache in support of men’s health awareness, specifically prostate and testicular cancer.
Originating in Australia in 2003, the Movember movement was created as a unique way to raise funds and promote men’s health. The campaign now reaches every corner of the globe, including New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and the UK.
So, what’s all the fuss about? We know from various research that men are less likely to visit their GP compared to women. One study found that when it comes to health niggles, men visit their GP twenty percent less frequently than women do. Another study has shown that a third of men who took part in the research never consulted their GP and over half never used health advice or information services.
Why there seems to be such an established culture of silence among men is a code that isn’t easy to crack. Perhaps men aren’t as accustomed to dealing with health professionals as women are – who visit their GP for things such as cervical smear tests. Or, maybe men have fewer support networks and not as strong interpersonal relationships than women – making it harder for them to discuss health-related issues.
Whatever the reasons behind the male health shyness, men are encouraged to be proactive about their health. They should acquaint themselves with health problems, including those that are specific to them, such as prostate disorders, testicular problems and erectile dysfunction.
There are various resources available online to help inform and educate men about health issues. For instance there is this prostate cancer risk assesment which can help chaps take stock of whether this is something they should be concerned about.
One thing is certain – not talking can hurt more than it helps. Around the globe, Movember will help break down the barriers by educating men on the health risks they may face. Hopefully, this will increase the chances of detecting diseases and conditions early, and men out there can get treatment when it’s most effective. So, for this Movember grow your ‘tache in support of your friends, family and loved ones to raise awareness and support for men’s health.
The hirsuit Simon Grant is of the opinion that a moustache is for life, not just for November!