The Movember Movement: Healthier Men, One Beard At A Time

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A barbershop or salon is a sacred place. It’s not just a sanctuary where we are vulnerable to those responsible for our appearances but also one of those places, for men and women, to talk about personal issues. I don’t know what it is about that chair or sink that makes one want to talk about their boss at work, vent about their noisy neighbors or maybe you’re the noisy neighbor and making noise for guys in your building isn’t enough for you.

The barbershop/salon remains a safe haven despite all this; and is slowly becoming a part of Movember’s campaign to talk to men about cancer.

For those who don’t already know what Movember is; it is a health campaign that started in 2004 in Australia and New Zealand as a fun and bold way to raise awareness and funds on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. This is done by men growing a moustache (hence the prefix “mo”) but most prefer growing their beards. Men who already have moustaches & beards shaved, spend the month re-growing them.

Rocking Movember. Image from http://blingingbeauty.com/manly-man-movember-pre-shave-necessities-for-your-post-november-beard/
Rocking Movember. Image from http://blingingbeauty.com/manly-man-movember-pre-shave-necessities-for-your-post-november-beard/

This month-long journey encourages men to forego shaving & grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness as we talk about issues affecting men that are usually not talked about.

All the rage that is caused by women who go crazy over men who sport their gorgeous manes this month has quite the noble cause that most don’t yet know. One of the main goals of Movember is to help men embrace their hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. The money that is usually spent in shaving and grooming is then used to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.

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Support the Movember Movement. Image from http://communityjournal.net/movember-men-go-hairy-for-health/

Good health is also an important fact that is brought to light as many men are resistant to seeking health care and especially in diseases that can be prevented. Show me at least 5 men who go for regular checkups, without the constant persuasion either from their family members, better halves or mothers. It’s very rare to find a guy willingly going to hospital or a health center for a checkup, unless he is in dire need of medical attention, and this is something that the Movember Movement seeks to change.

Prostate cancer, which caused about 26,120 deaths in men in the US in 2016, mostly affects men over the age of 50, and is the second most common cancer around the world and by the age of 80, 80% of all men will have developed prostate cancer. It’s a slow growing cancer with no known cause and no single test to identify the disease; with most cases diagnosed at a later stage when the cancer has spread. This has been one of the major reasons why men choose to delay treatment until there is a risk the cancer might spread.

So how can one participate in Movember?

Men

  • Grow your Mo and Get Checked.
  • Participate in conversations regarding cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
  • Help someone out. Talk to your brother, he might be the help you need.

Women

As women, we are the primary force driving health care in our homes. We make the appointments and we are also the ones pushing the men in our lives to schedule and go for their these checkups.

Women should not be afraid of asking those sensitive questions. We should continue to encourage men to have routine health check-ups, including testicular exams, mood assessments, and even PROSTATE checks.

Women should also not be afraid to keep track of whether or not these men are following up on their health status. So as much as ladies can’t grow a beard, they have a very vital role to play in the Movember Movement.

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