Let’s face it, men are known to be more indifferent towards their health, especially when compared to the efforts of women, who proactively and publicly address their health issues in a way not traditionally seen with men. As a result, today the levels of awareness, understanding and funding for support of men's health issues, like prostate cancer, lag significantly behind causes such as breast cancer.
The reasons for the poor state of men’s health in the UK and around the world are numerous and complex and this is primarily due to a lack of awareness of the health issues men face. This can largely be attributed to the reluctance in men openly discussing the subject due to longstanding traditions, coupled with an ‘it’ll be alright’ attitude. Men are less likely to schedule a doctor's appointment when they feel ill or go for a check up, therefore decreasing the chance of early detection and effective treatment of common diseases.
Studies show that many men don’t get regular health checks for the following reasons:
- Fear it will lead to a hospital visit
- Embarrassed to discuss their health issues
- Find it too hard to see a doctor because they can’t fit it into their schedule
- Can’t be bothered making an appointment
Statistics show that, on average, men die at a younger age than women – the average life expectancy for men is four years less than women. That said, despite trailing the women’s health movement, things are beginning to change, but much more progress needs to be made to close the gap between the state of men and women’s health. Established taboos and barriers relating to men’s health are gradually being broken down.
Movember aims to change the face of men’s health and reverse this way of thinking by putting a fun twist on this serious issue. Using the moustache as a catalyst, we want to bring about change and give men the opportunity and confidence to talk about their health more openly.
Movember's campaign objective is to raise awareness of men's health issues, specifically cancers affecting men. We want everyone to know that most cancers are highly curable if caught in the early stages - including prostate and testicular cancer. Movember aims to increase early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment, as this will ultimately reduce the number of deaths from cancer.
- The average life expectancy for men in the UK is four years less than women
- More than 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
- Prostate, colon, lung and breast cancers account for over half of the cancer diagnosis in the UK
- Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK. Over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer ever year and there are 250,000 men currently living with the disease
- 1 in 9 men in the UK are likely to face prostate cancer in their lifetime. This is comparable to the 1 in 9 women that are estimated to get breast cancer
- 2,209 men in the UK were diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2009
- 47% of testicular cancer cases occur in men under 35 years and over 90% occur in men under 55 years
- 1 in 4 British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year
- Since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increased from 1.4 million to 2.9 million
- 42% of men were classified as overweight in 2010 (in England) compared to 32% women
- Obese men are 5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and 3 times more likely to develop cancer of the colon
- In Great Britain, 31% drink more alcohol than the advised weekly limit of 21 units
It’s not all bad news! Maintaining a good diet, smart lifestyle choices and getting regular health check-ups and screening tests can dramatically influence your health. Regardless of age, stay on top of your game by doing the following:
|KNOW YOUR BODY
Look after yourself, know what symptoms to look out for and know your risks. If something seems out of the norm, alert your doctor to it.
KNOW YOUR FAMILY HISTORY
Family history is one of the most powerful tools to understanding your health. Family history affects your level of risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, among other illnesses. It all starts with a conversation; talk to your family and take note of illnesses that a direct relative has experienced.
If you do smoke, stop! Smoking causes more than 8 in 10 occurrences of lung cancers in the UK. Studies show that smokers in their 30s and 40s are 5 times more likely to have a heart attack than non-smokers.
BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
If you are not already physically active, start small and work up to a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Stay on the move throughout the day; long periods of sitting increase your risk of disease. Every little bit counts – take the stairs instead of the lift or take a walk during your lunch break.
EAT A HEALTHY DIET
Fill up with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and choose healthy proteins like lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and nuts. Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars. Moderation is key, as is eating a wide range of food to ensure you get a variety of nutrients. The best source of vitamins is from food.
|STAY AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Balance calories from foods and beverages with calories you burn off from physical activity. Obesity and being overweight pose a major risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, and certain cancers.
DRINK ALCOHOL ONLY IN MODERATION
Alcohol can be part of a healthy, balanced diet, but only if consumed in moderation. The UK government advises that men should not drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol each day, the equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Stress, particularly long-term stress, can be a factor in the onset or worsening of poor health. Managing your stress is essential to your health and well-being. Take time out of each day and go for a walk or do something you find relaxing.
The quality of your sleep can dictate how much you eat, how fast your metabolism runs, how fat or thin you are, how well you can fight off infections, and how well you can cope with stress. Keep a regular pattern of sleep, going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time is key.
For Movember's source log please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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