The globally recognized Movember campaign started in 2004, has progressively brought about an increased awareness of health issues specific to men including prostate and testicular cancers, as well as the importance of exercise, mental health, and the prevention of suicide.1
The movement continues to grow as more health statistics show that men have higher numbers of underlying health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, but additionally, “men have a weaker immune response to respiratory infections…they are more likely to drink alcohol at unsafe levels, and smoke. They are less likely to wash their hands regularly or seek medical help at the right time.” 2 The data also shows that men who have the worst health outcomes “include men from Black and minority ethnic groups, including indigenous men in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, and elsewhere.”2
There are several ways that men can join the movement in 2022:
- Grow a moustache throughout the month of November.
- Move for Movember: “Run or walk 60 miles (or km) for the 60 men lost to suicide every hour across the world.”1
- Host a Mo-ment: “Rally a crew, online or in-person, to raise the roof and raise donations.”1
- Mo your own way: “choose-your-own adventure challenge, epic in size and impact.”1
For more information about Movember in the UK, click here.
Men’s global health statistics speak for themselves. According to the WHO, “the causes of death that most contribute to a lower life expectancy for men than women are ischemic heart disease, road injuries, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, cirrhosis of the liver, tuberculosis (TB), prostate cancer, and interpersonal violence.”4
In the United States, the American Heart Association shares the following stats related to heart disease in men:
- “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, responsible for 1 in every 4 male deaths.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including blacks, American Indians, Hispanics, and whites. For Asian American and Pacific Islander men, heart disease is second only to cancer.
- Between 70 percent and 89 percent of sudden cardiac events occur in men.
- Half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.”5
In the United States, recommendations for preventing poor health outcomes in men include input from the CDC, the US Preventive Services Task Force, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Together, these organizations recommend the following for men in their 40s-50s:
- Flu shot, every year.
- Tetanus booster, every 10 years.
- Shingles vaccine at age 50.
- Sexually Transmitted Disease: The CDC recommends that sexually active gay and bisexual men should get screened at least once a year for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
- Blood Pressure should be checked at least once every year.
- Cholesterol: Continue blood tests for cholesterol every four to six years, depending on risk factors.
- Type 2 Diabetes: If you’re overweight or obese, have a blood test every three years.
- Colorectal Cancer: At age 45, talk to your doctor about when to begin screening for colon cancer. A colonoscopy every 10 years, a stool test every year, and a few other screening options are available. Ask your doctor which one may be best for you.
- Prostate cancer: Regular prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests, which may detect prostate cancer, might not be necessary. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of the test. If you’re concerned about prostate cancer, talk with your doctor at 55 or earlier about whether you’re at increased risk.
- Breast and cervical cancer: Some transgender men may need to receive screening for breast and cervical cancer but accessing quality care can be a challenge. Check the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s directory of knowledgeable and affirming providers to find one in your area or who is available via telehealth.”8
In the United Kingdom, the NHS Health Check “is a check-up for adults in England aged 40-74. It is designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or dementia.”6 The NHS data estimates that every year, these checks:
- “Save 650 lives
- prevent 1,600 heart attacks and strokes
- prevent 4,000 people from developing type 2 diabetes
- detect at least 20,000 cases of type 2 diabetes or kidney disease earlier”.6
In closing, the Limbs & Things family hopes that all the men in our lives will consider the World Health Organization’s top five things men can do for good health:7
- Get regular check-ups for high blood pressure, blood sugar, prostate, and mental health
- Decrease alcohol use to reduce the risk of injury, liver, and heart disease
- Quit smoking to reduce risk of stroke, heart, and lung diseases
- Eat a healthy diet to reduce the risk of diabetes
- Be more active with at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.