Monks Park Doctors Surgery's monthly column - November 2019
For the whole month of November, or rather Movember, it’s Men’s Health Awareness Month, which intends to fundraise and increase awareness for men’s health.
Think of a man you know- this could be your father, brother, partner, friend, son or even yourself. At least one of the men you know will be facing a health crisis alone, with no one to talk to. This is a problem we rarely hear, yet need to talk about.
Health crisis for men
The men in our society are dying too young, with the rate of deaths among under 25s increasing to 730 deaths last year. In the UK, men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women, the highest suicide rate being among men aged 45-49. On average, men die six years earlier than women, for mostly avoidable reasons. If not checked, prostate cancer will double in the next 15 years and in the last 50 years rates have already doubled for testicular cancer. And internationally, a man dies by suicide every minute, with 75% of all suicides being male. We cannot stay silent.
More about the charity
Movember is the leading charity for men’s health. They help raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention. From 2003, Movember has financed more than 1,250 men’s health ventures globally; changing the stereotypes and the way research is done for men’s mental health and altering the way that men are reached and supported by health services.
Five things every man should know
1. Spend a while with the individuals who make you feel good. Staying connected with mates is important, check in on them.
2. Be there for someone if they need a listening ear. You don’t have to be an expert with a solution but giving time to someone can be life-saving.
3. When you’re 50, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer and having a PSA test. If you’re black, or have close relatives with prostate cancer, have a conversation with your doctor when you’re 45.
4. Research and check what is normal for your testicles. If something doesn’t feel right, go to the doctor.
5. Exercise more. Do what makes you feel good, like cycling instead of driving, or taking the stairs instead of the lift.
What can you do?
Every year, Movember is behind the thousands of moustaches grown in the UK and worldwide. Sign up to the Movember website to start growing. ‘Whatever you grow, will save a bro.’ Or if you are a bit follicly challenged, and are looking to get fit and healthy, you could sign up to run, walk (or maybe crawl) 60km for the sixty men lost to suicide each hour. A lot more information about helping the cause is on Movember’s website.
Life isn’t always about length. Sometimes, quality of life is more important. So look out for yourself or a man in your life so he can live life to the fullest.
By Ankita Menon