For the month of November, you might see a bunch of scraggly looking guys walking around with food caught in their beards…if you do, don’t laugh! They may be growing out their facial hair for a worthy cause known as Movember.
Movember is a global initiative that promotes and raises funds for men’s health awareness. Men are asked to document their hair growth by posting selfies showing their progress throughout the month. Sounds odd, but something surely is working because year by year the Movember campaign continues to grow (with good reason too).
I mean…just think about it: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental illness and all other types of health issues affecting men are no laughing matter. I know this all too well, having recently discovered my father’s struggle with health issues. This past summer, I was rummaging through my father’s leather jackets looking for a book of matches, but instead found a pillbox containing medication for his prostate. Immediately, I dropped it to the ground and had to gather my thoughts before talking to him about it.
He told me how relieved he was that he didn’t have to hide this from me anymore and how he couldn’t really feel embarrassed about it now that I knew. This spurred a lengthy discussion with him about our family’s health history. He told me how prostate cancer starts in your prostate gland (which is located right in your cracker) and is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. After our talk, I went and did some research of my own. I found that 1 in 6 men will have prostate cancer in their lifetime (with 1 in 36 men that will actually die from it).
Thought Catalog is encouraging our readers to get in the know and bring awareness to issues relating to men’s health. The unfortunate reality is that many of these ailments don’t usually show symptoms until it’s too late, which makes it super important for men to get their annual screening as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean dudes should be the only ones to get involved, if you are a sister, wife, aunt, mother, etc. please encourage the men in your life to see their doctor.
Being proactive about check-ups can be lifesaving because even if you have no family history with these ailments, the important thing to keep in mind is that this doesn’t mean you are not at risk. Prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health…these are just some of the health issues affecting men that all everyone should concern themselves with.
Let’s spend November being smart about men’s health, growing warm facial blankets, and supporting each other. Go Movember!