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Fitness Facts: The story behind Movember – GCU Today

Posted: November 5, 2020 at 11:57 am


By Jo GottNurse Practitioner, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic

No that is not a typo!

In November 2003, two men were drinking beer at a bar in Australia. They decided to start growing moustaches to raise money for one of their moms, who had breast cancer. (A mo in Australia is short for a moustache.)

From that humble beginning, Movember is now a worldwide event to raise awareness of mens health. There even is a Movember Foundation, which encourages donations for this cause.

Movember focuses its charitable contributions on four mens health issues: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, suicide prevention and physical inactivity.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in middle age and older men. It usually grows slowly and is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm.

However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. There is a blood test called the PSA (prostate specific antigen) that can screen for prostate cancer. If a man has a relative with prostate cancer, this screening should start at age 45. Otherwise, men may begin this screening at 55.

Testicular cancer is a rare type of cancer found in young men between the ages of 15 and 35. This cancer is very treatable. Every young man should be performing monthly self-testicular exams (similar to women performing self-breast exams). Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer may include:

The suicide rate for men is 3.5 times higher in men than women. White men in middle life are the group most likely to use lethal weapons to commit suicide.

However, a study in 2019, in The Journal of Mental Health found that stronger social connections can reduce the risk of suicide. That means more men talking about stuff that really matters.

Click here to find tools that can help men talk with men about mental health issues and suicide-prevention guidelines. In this day of COVID, many of these talks occur virtually.

Finally, the most recent focus on Movember is on mens inactivity. Research abounds that having an active lifestyle can prevent many diseases in both men and women. An active lifestyle can play a part in preventing obesity, heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Some Movember articles talk about the Movember Movement to encourage physical activity.

For additional information about Movember and how to donate to this worldwide cause, go to https://us.movember.com/about/foundation.

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Fitness Facts: The story behind Movember - GCU Today

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