For some 13 years now, Movember has given people the opportunity to indulge in a month-long bit of facial hair-based hilarity, all in the name of raising awareness about cancer and the way it affects men up and down the country.
But despite improving our general understanding of the disease and raising some much-needed funds towards finding a cure, men still need a helping hand when it comes to staying healthy and ensuring they do all they can to keep the doctor at bay.
Fortunately, Sarah Coghlan, the Global Director of Men’s Health Promotion for the Movember movement is on hand to offer six health tips to loaded readers that, if followed, should keep any and all blokes out there as healthy as possible.
Know your nuts
“It’s the most common cancer for guys aged between 25 – 49 and more than six men are diagnosed with testicular cancer every day. Testicular cancer starts as an abnormal growth or tumour that develops in one or both testicles, and men between 15 – 40 are at risk. Men need to check themselves regularly and ‘get to know thy nuts’ as we say. Get hands-on in the shower and get to know what’s normal down there, and go to the doctor if you notice any change (guide on how to check here).”
Talk to your doc
“The sad truth is that one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Early detection is key, with the chance of survival beyond five years at 98 per cent on early detection. This drops dramatically to 26% on late detection, so it’s really important to watch out for symptoms and take action early on.
“If you’re 50 years old, you should be talking to your doctor about prostate cancer and whether it’s right for you to have a PSA test. If you are a black man, you should be having this conversation at 45 with your doctor and if you have a father or brother with prostate cancer, again have the conversation with your doctor from 45.”
Make room for mantime
“In the UK, 13 men a day take their own lives, and 78% of all suicides are men. We need to debunk the myth that it’s not ‘manly’ to talk. If a man is struggling to cope, it needs to be addressed. Spending time with mates is good for you, and talking, listening and being there for a friend can be lifesaving. Asking the question ‘are you OK?’ can sometimes be enough to kickstart a conversation and let your mate know he isn’t tackling it alone. Guys, talk!”
Enjoy everything in moderation
“A shocking 75% of premature deaths from coronary heart disease are male. Two thirds of men are overweight or obese. Men are more likely to smoke more and drink at hazardous levels than women and middle-aged men are twice as likely to have diabetes as women.
“Making a conscious effort to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle is important. We don’t mean cut out all that you enjoy – eg alcohol can be part of a healthy, balanced diet, but only if consumed in moderation.
“Quality and hours of sleep will go a long way to improving physical and mental health, and we know by now that eating well and quitting smoking can bring obvious health benefits.”
Get yourself moving
“One of the best things you can do for your health is to stay active. There are almost immediate mental and physical benefits to regular exercise, and it’s not to be undervalued. Whether it’s a quick jog at lunchtime, an hour on the ping-pong table, an epic bike ride or a game of footie with your mates, just get moving. And you know, it’s often pretty fun. ”
Knowledge is power
“Can you believe that men die on average four years younger then women? Even in today’s world, men are dying younger than women and for reasons that are largely preventable. Know your health numbers. Tracking your health numbers and keeping them in the healthy range can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many types of cancer.
“You should know your body better than anyone. If you notice something isn’t feeling right, don’t put it off and hope that it goes away, go to the doctor and get it checked out. Early detection is the most important factor in treating big issues.”
To find out more and join the movement the Movember, you can visit the Movember website.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.