November is Men’s Health Awareness Month and editor Matt is talking about the importance of mental health, as well as physical health, for men affected by cancer.

Thanks to the Movember movement, November is now widely known as the month when men are encouraged to think about their health and well-being – typically while growing a moustache! But health and well-being are not just physical things.Mental health is also important.

Macmillan works to provide emotional support to people affected by cancer. Yet for many men, the idea of needing or asking for support with their mental health is difficult.

The Movember Foundation is doing a great job of raising awareness about men’s mental health. It does this by educating people on how to:

  • maintain good mental health
  • talk about the “big things in life”
  • access mental health support in the community.

Mental health awareness is particularly important for men affected by cancer. This is because cancer can alter your everyday thoughts and feelings. You may feel:

  • angry
  • guilty
  • not in control
  • all these things at once.

A quote box reading Cancer can turn your life upside down. You can experience just about every emotion a human being can feel - a real rollercoaster of ups and downs.

Being diagnosed with cancer is often a life-changing experience. It can have a huge effect on your emotions as well as on the practical aspects of your life. Men diagnosed with cancer may have concerns about the many ways cancer can impact their lives. They may worry about cancer treatment and possible side effects. Or they may have concerns about relationships, work or money. Many men worry about physical changes and possible effects on their sex life or fertility.

We understand how cancer can take its toll on men’s mental health and we know how important it is for men to have the time and space to talk about what is worrying them. Talking can help you:

  • understand how you are feeling and why
  • feel reassured that your feelings are normal
  • find solutions to problems
  • make important decisions and feel more in control
  • build bonds with your family and friends and feel more supported.

A quote reading We must give ourselves a fighting chance and we can do that if we feel empowered; simply by information, education, making lifestyle changes and having a great support network.

If you have questions or concerns or just want to chat, please call our support line on 0808 808 00 00.
On our website you can find details of support groups all over the UK that help men living with cancer. Or our Online Community has forums where men can talk about their experiences of cancer, share information and support each other.

We offer support in many ways to men living with cancer and work to make sure support is there when men need it. And we know that there is a real need to keep the conversation around men’s health and well-being flowing throughout the year. Not just in Movember.

Further information
For more information on any of the topics mentioned in this blog, you can order free booklets from be.macmillan.org.uk

You can also use our Directory of Information Materials for People Affected by Cancer. It has details of over 1,900 booklets, leaflets, books and audiovisual materials for people affected by cancer. It is regularly updated and you can use it to search for our resources and those from other organisations.

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To see what else Macmillan's cancer information team has been blogging about, please visit our blog home page! You can subscribe to receive our blogs by email or RSS too.

Whatever cancer throws your way, we're right there with you. 

The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

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