November is the only time of year that I might tolerate my husband growing facial hair. While I’m not a fan of mustaches, beards, or goatees, I’m happy to support a good cause. By growing mustaches, Movember is an annual event to raise awareness about men’s health issues, like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health.
But you don’t have to be a man to participate in Movember. Even if you can’t grow a Tom Selleck mustache, get involved with these four easy tips!
#1 – Start The Conversation
In addition to supporting the quest for a perfect handle-bar mustache, now is the time to talk about men’s health with the important gentlemen in your life. Do they have a primary care physician? Do they know their family history, like risk of cardiac disease or cancer (especially testicular cancer or early-onset colorectal cancer)? And are they up-to-date with various cancer screenings for their age, like a colonoscopy or PSA test (see below)?
#2 – Know The Facts
While uncommon (occurring in 1 out of 263 males), testicular cancer typically affects young and middle-aged men. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 33. Just like women are advised to perform self-breast exams as a way to monitor for breast cancer, men are encouraged to know their bodies and perform self-testicular exams.
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer and colorectal cancer. 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. A PSA (prostate specific antigen) screen is a simple blood test that is checked starting at age 50. For men at a higher risk of prostate cancer (including men with a family history of prostate cancer or men of African-American background), they should consider the test at age 45.
According to the World Health Organization, mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide. 3 out of 4 suicides are men. Due to persistent negativity towards mental illness, many men and women avoid treatment or therapy. Know your available resources and have important information ready if needed, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).
#3 – Move For Movember
You can’t spell Movember without MOVE. Movember also encourages men and women to be more active in their daily lives. So now that the Fall weather is here, get outside for a walk or hike with the family. Over-stuffed from a gigantic Thanksgiving meal? Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Frustrated that your favorite football team lost again? Put that Dorito down and hop on the treadmill. Have you been pretending your home gym doesn’t actually exist? Rediscover a new room in your house! Not only does it burn calories and reduce your risk of heart disease, but exercise also improves your mood and boosts your energy.
#4 – Raise Money For Charity
Supporters of the Movember event can sign up directly with the Movember Foundation or choose a charity related to men’s health issues, like the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, Testicular Cancer Society, or mental health charities like the Treatment Advocacy Center. But I’m sure you might agree that there are quite a few local charities in need right now. So choose any charity you’re most passionate about. While men begin growing and grooming their facial hair like a badge of honor, here are some fun ways to raise money:
- Have your husband or partner get together a group of fellow dads, friends, or coworkers to start growing magnificent mustaches. Each man finds friends or family to sponsor them. The highest donor gets to choose the mustache style.
- Have your family calculate how much they spend on grooming (i.e. haircuts, new brushes, shaving essentials, or amazing blowouts) and donate that amount to your charity. Do a photoshoot at the end of the month with your mustached man.
- If you’re moving for Movember, set a goal for yourself or a group of friends: run or walk 50 miles by the end of the month, exercise 20 minutes per day, or take 15,000 steps by dinnertime each day. Anytime you don’t meet a goal, put a set amount of money towards your charity.
How will you and your family raise awareness for men’s health this Movember? Let us know in the comments.