Each November people begin prepping for Thanksgiving meals, scheduling travel plans to see family and strategizing for the best Black Friday deals.
You may even notice some people growing a mustache for the month of November. Why is this a thing? Do people with mustaches get an extra vote at the booth? Is there another Top Gun movie coming out? The answer to all these questions is (likely) no.
November 1 is the start of Men’s Health Month! What do you get when you combine November and a mustache? Movember! This upper lip foliage is a tool used to raise awareness on important health topics that affect men, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide. In fact, the average life expectancy for men is five years less than women.
Movember is not just about perfecting the art of a mustache, but rather having a real conversation with ourselves and the ones we love to create a gameplan to prioritize our health.
Prostate cancer is the most diagnosed type of cancer in the U.S. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. Men and people who were assigned male at birth should have their first prostate exam at 50 years old. However, you should have an exam at 45 years old if you have a family history of prostate cancer. Black men should also have their prostate checked at age 45 (regardless of family history) due to an increased risk.
While prostate cancer is a deadly disease, there is a 99% survival rate for those diagnosed with prostate cancer in an early stage. The earlier it is caught, the better it can be managed!
According to the American Cancer Society, only one in 250 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer, with an average diagnosis age of 33 years old (making it “uncommon”). For those that are diagnosed, the risk of death is one in 5,000. Testicular cancer is also four to five times more likely to happen in white men compared to black (African American), Hispanic, Latino and Asian American men. Your primary care physician may do a screening at your annual exam or encourage a self-examination.
Men’s Mental Health
Mental health is extremely important, despite it sometimes being taboo for men to discuss. Six million men are affected by depression each year, and suicide is the seventh leading cause of death among males. Men are also less likely than women to seek help due to social norms, reluctance to talk and downplaying symptoms. Are you interested in speaking with someone about your mental health? Click here to find providers in your area!
What’s Your Health Gameplan?
Maintaining optimal health requires us to be proactive rather than reactive. It is important to have open conversations with your healthcare provider to allow your body and mind to stay at an optimal level. This November, grow your mustache, lip warmer, mouth brow (or whatever you want to call it) and be an advocate for men’s health by completing all your necessary preventative screenings!
Click here for an insightful infographic from Northwestern Medicine of screenings needed for men based on age.
About the Author
Organizations are in a constant state of change and the Kinetiq Health team supports them every step of the way. A unique formula of people, processes and technologies enables our team to keep an educated eye on the financial and clinical implications of data to move organizations toward improved financial health and employee well-being.