When November comes round, the days get a bit colder, a bit shorter, and suspicious things start to grow on some people’s faces. We are talking, of course, about moustaches.
Far from a tactic to keep the top lip warm over the winter months, the trend of men growing moustaches throughout the month of November is – for those who were not aware – for a far more important cause. Movember, as it is now known, is a charity movement created to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues.
The term was first coined by a group of Australians back in 1999, but it was in 2004 that the Movember Foundation was founded. Over the past decade in particular, the cause has steadily spread across the planet to encourage men to grow facial hair and partake in various fundraising activities to draw attention to issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide.
In recognition of this month-long global awareness event, here are Pharmacy Outlet’s top five tips to men around the world:
- Talk about your health problems. Whether it is mental or physical, men should never suffer in silence with any health issues – seeking support from friends, family or professionals is always the first step to combatting the problem. A massive 75% of suicides in the UK are men – putting aside outdated, macho pride is vital in addressing mental health challenges, and the same approach must be adopted for physical conditions too.
- Stay fit. This is not just advice for the month of November, nor a flash-in-the-pan trend for the New Year, but all year round men should be exercising and dieting properly to keep their body as healthy as possible. Speak to a GP or pharmacist about potential supplements and dietary advice – things such as zinc, vitamins and omega 3 – that can help.
- Spot the symptoms. You don’t have to be a trained medical professional to spot health issues. Aches, pains and abnormalities will be clear indications that something is not right; and when they appear, don’t ignore them! As per the first point, be sure to speak to someone if you see any strange symptoms.
- Prevention is key. Understanding the main risks facing men, particularly those advancing beyond their 40s, is important in taking suitable preventative measures. Whether it is cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, kidney disease or dementia, there are things you can do to lower your risk of falling foul of these problems. Do your research, and speak to the experts so you can avoid serious health concerns in the first place.
- Don’t fear ‘the C word’. We’re talking about cancer, of course. And in particular, prostate cancer, which is the second most common cancer in men in the UK, with 40,000 new prostate cancer cases diagnosed every year. Difficulty passing urine, needing to do so regularly or seeing spots of blood in your urine are all signs of prostate cancer. Don’t shy away from the issue – if you are worried you might have prostate cancer then understand it is a common problem and it can be treated.
Men and women alike, this November make sure you speak about men’s health issues to help break taboos and combat the problems that so many males are suffering in silence with around the world.