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We’ve done dry January, Stress Awareness April, Walking May, Urology Awareness September, and Sober October. Now it’s Movember, perhaps the fuzziest (sorry) of all the awareness campaigns. Content channel manager Sam takes us through what this month is all about. Maybe you’re wondering if there’s anything more to it than attention-seeking moustaches (a bit like this guy below). Well, yes, there is something very serious behind the silly ’staches.
It seems that men as a group could be better at doing things to keep themselves alive longer. Sure, men can get gym memberships and take vitamins and try to get enough sleep. But on average men die 6 years earlier than women, and it’s often from preventable causes – things that could be reduced, treated, or even avoided. Movember’s goal is to try and address some of the biggest health issues that cause men to die young: testicular cancer, prostate cancer, mental health and suicide.
Macmillan is all about cancer support (it’s in our name for a reason), so we’re most attuned to the work relating to prostate cancer and testicular cancer. These are diseases where awareness really is key. The earlier you detect something unusual, the earlier you get a diagnosis and treatment starts, the better the outcomes tend to be. For prostate cancer, Movember encourages you to know the facts and start early conversations with your doctor. For testicular cancer, one of the most important things for men is body awareness. Macmillan Cancer Information’s most popular tweet ever has a quick guide to help make you more aware.
Awareness and early action is just as important for mental health issues. This may be one of the places where there’s the most room for improvement and inclusion. Just as there are many types of moustache...
...there are many types of men - young, old, gay, straight, cisgender and trans. And all of these men are at greater risk of mental health issues than women. The Movember website highlights some of the organisations that can help support men’s mental health, as well as including simple steps anyone can take to reach out.
Really, that’s what Movember is supposed to be about: to help stop men dying too young. Even if it takes an unexpected moustache to open the conversation:
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