Applied Psychology

Movember the Month of Men’s Health

Nov 26, 2020 | By Saranne Durham
Movember the Month of Men’s Health

November is Men’s health month, also known as Movember or No-Shave-November. It’s when many men get hairier growing a moustache to raise awareness and funding for men’s health – specifically cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. The overall purpose behind Men’s Health Month is to increase awareness of preventable health issues, encourage pro-active healthy behaviour as well as early detection and treatment of diseases.

“November is Men’s Health Month a.k.a Movember.”

What is Movember?

The first Movember campaign was in 2003 and started by two Australian friends, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, who one day over a beer joked about how to bring the moustache back into fashion. Then, inspired by a friend’s mom, who was fundraising breast cancer, these two men sent out an email entitled Are you man enough to be my man? challenging 30 friends grow a moustache. Thus, beginning this worldwide campaign to raise awareness and funding for prostate and testicular cancer. After which, the Movember Foundation was formed. Funding raised during Movember campaigns is directed specifically towards men’s health projects

“Movember aims to increase the awareness and funding of prostate and testicular cancer.”

The 5 Steps to Becoming a Mo-Bro

  1. Start with a clean-shaven face
  2. Don’t shave for the month of Movember, instead focus on growing and grooming
  3. Use your moustache to start conversations about the importance of men’s health and to ideally raise funding for men’s health initiatives
  4. Uphold a true gentleman’s code of conduct
  5. Remember beards, goatees and fakies don’t count

You can also sign up to become a Movember member then commit to MO-ving by walking or running 60kms during the month. This acknowledges the estimated 60 deaths of men by suicide per hour. You could host a MO-ment with your friends to do something fun for a good cause or you could MO your own way by creating a challenge and invite others to take part.

Why Men Delay Going to a Doctor

On average men live for 6 years less than women do. This is mostly due to preventable deaths such as suicide and prostate cancer. A survey found that 65% of the respondents avoid going to the doctor for as long as possible and then when there 35% withheld information and 20% weren’t honest about their health with their doctor.

“Delaying seeking health care can have deadly consequences.”

Stigma and stereotype beliefs that real men don’t ask for help, as well as fear of a diagnosis particularly an “embarrassing” diagnosis, denial that anything is wrong and not wanting to be vulnerable, all contribute to the lack of and problematic men’s health seeking behaviour. The biggest consequence of delays and denials is that the early signs of serious conditions are missed. Often by the time a man goes to see a health practitioner, health issue or disease is much more serious than it had to be or it is too late to for treatment to be successful.

Why is Men’s Health Important – When to Check What

The older you get the more at risk you are for certain diseases. The best defence is prevention. which means going for annual check-ups even when you not feeling sick. Remember that your health care professional is the expert and will guide you in what you need and when.

“Ask your health care professional what you need to test for and when to test for it. It can be age dependent.”

Which tests you need and how often to test changes as you age. To help you feel less anxious, here’s a rough guide of what you could expect to be tested for and how often when you have your annual check-up.

Men’s Health in Your 20s:

  • Eye Exam testing vision, glaucoma and macular degeneration every 1-2 years
  • Hearing test every 10 years
  • Skin Exam for signs of skin cancer every year
  • Blood pressure screening for heart conditions every 2 years
  • Testicular exam to screen for cancer every year

Men’s Health in Your 30’s:

  • Eye Exam testing vision, glaucoma and macular degeneration every 1-2 years
  • Hearing test every 10 years
  • Blood pressure screening for heart conditions every 2 years
  • Skin Exam for signs of skin cancer every year
  • Testicular exam to screen for cancer every year
  • Blood Glucose Test for diabetes every 5 years
  • Cholesterol Test to screen for heart disease every 5 years

Men’s Health in Your 40’s:

  • Eye Exam testing vision, glaucoma and macular degeneration every 1-2 years
  • Hearing test every 10 years
  • Blood pressure screening for heart conditions every 2 years
  • Skin Exam for signs of skin cancer every year
  • Testicular exam to screen for cancer every year
  • Blood Glucose Test for diabetes every 3 years
  • Cholesterol Test to screen for heart disease every year
  • Prostate Exam / Tests to screen for prostate cancer risk according to risk profile

Men’s Health in Your 50’s:

  • Eye Exam testing vision, glaucoma and macular degeneration every 1-2 years
  • Hearing test every 10 years
  • Blood pressure screening for heart conditions every 2 years
  • Skin Exam for signs of skin cancer every year
  • Testicular exam to screen for cancer every year
  • Blood Glucose Test for diabetes every 3 years
  • Cholesterol Test to screen for heart disease every year
  • Prostate Exam / Tests to screen for prostate cancer risk every 3 years
  • Colonoscopy to check for pre-cancerous polyps and cancer every 3 years

Men’s Health in Your 60’s:

  • Eye Exam testing vision, glaucoma and macular degeneration every 1-2 years
  • Hearing test every 3 years
  • Blood pressure screening for heart conditions every 2 years
  • Skin Exam for signs of skin cancer every year
  • Testicular exam to screen for cancer every 3 year
  • Blood Glucose Test for diabetes every 3 years
  • Cholesterol Test to screen for heart disease every year
  • Prostate Exam / Tests to screen for prostate cancer risk every 3 years
  • Colonoscopy to check for pre-cancerous polyps and cancer every year
  • Bone Density Testing for signs of osteoporosis every 2-3 years
  • Colorectal Screening for heart disease every year
  • Herpes booster to prevent shingles – once off
  • Pneumonia booster to protect against pneumonia – once off

The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) graduates are making a difference in health care. If you would like to be part of this difference then look into the range of psychology courses on offer, including a BPsych degree. These will provide you with an internationally recognised pathway to obtaining your Master’s Degree in Psychology and, ultimately, becoming a qualified psychotherapist. For more information, enquire today.

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