Our individual health is as unique as our fingerprints. Every experience, every interaction, and every genetic factor weigh on our emotional landscape, making us the person we are today.
And gender is one of the most determinant influences on people’s overall health.
Our sexual identity and gender identification shape the ways in which we interact with the world around us. Clichés like “be a man” and “keep a stiff upper lip” perpetuate unfair stereotypes and often prevent us from tapping into our true feelings. If psychological issues remain bottled up, they can be as damaging as cancer that goes unchecked.
What Is Movember?
The short answer: Movember is only the biggest male-centric health-related charity on Earth. This organization has funded over 1,200 global health initiatives in its relatively short 15-year lifespan.
Tackling issues like testicular cancer, prostate cancer, suicide prevention, and mental health awareness, the Movember Foundation is as ambitious as it is effective. Their goal is to reduce premature deaths among men by 25% in the next 12 years.
The Movember movement challenges men to grow mustaches to help raise awareness for the various causes they have embraced since 2003. It began as an initiative to fight prostate cancer and grew like the mustaches that bear its name. The guiding philosophy of the Movember Foundation is that raising your spirits will also raise your chances of survival.
Men’s Health: By the Numbers
Prostate cancer is the second most prevalent form of cancer in American men, just after skin cancer. The American Cancer Society’s prediction rates for 2018 are staggering; they expect over 164,000 new prostate cancer diagnoses by the end of the year. Tragically, the ACS also estimates that almost 30,000 deaths will be attributed to prostate cancer in 2018.
In fact, approximately one in nine men will receive prostate cancer diagnoses in their lifetime.
The Link Between Physical Health and Mental Health
With statistics like those laid out above, it’s no wonder that prostate cancer weighs heavily on the minds and hearts of men (and the women who love them). Our psychological state is indelibly linked to our physical wellbeing; when we feel good, we exude happiness and vice versa.
These aren’t just generalizations – they’re proven statistically. Cancer survivors experience depression at a rate of 25%, and 45% of this same population is vulnerable to anxiety disorders. When you’re spending a bulk of your time and energy fighting such a wicked disease, it’s no wonder your mental faculties get dragged down along with your physical stamina.
But this isn’t a one-way street. As cancer affects our psychology, so too does psychology affect cancer rates. Studies show that stress produces a hormone called norepinephrine. A buildup of this chemical can trigger the growth and metastasis of tumors in the body.
This give and take can further depress not only your immune system but also your mental health.
Suicide Rates in Men
While psychological issues don’t discriminate by age, ethnicity, or gender, it’s important to understand your specific needs and pressures. In the United States, approximately 25% of adults experience one or more mental health issues in the span of a calendar year. However, about 75% of suicides in the country are committed by men.
Whether your depression is persistent, occasional, or undefined, you can beat it. Help is here.
Support Is Essential
You’re strong, you’re smart, you’re independent – let’s face it: you’re awesome! But cancer is the biggest bully you’ll ever trounce, so you can’t do it alone. The key to healthy living (cancer or not) is maintaining a vibrant support system.
That’s one of the best fringe benefits of the Movember movement: brotherhood. Grow a ‘stache for yourself, for a loved one, or for style points. Whatever your reasoning, just grow for it!
Now Let’s Hear from the Ladies…
So, you may be asking yourself, “But what about the women in my life?” Don’t worry – Movember loves them too! In fact, the movement is all about the moments. Life is made of these special memories, be they big or small. Parties, hugs, hangouts – we crave moments with loved ones because we know how precious and fleeting they may be.
Movember encourages the women in our lives to join these mo-ments. Host, attend, or just spread the word: cancer and depression won’t defeat us because we have too much to celebrate!
Bask in the camaraderie of the Movember movement, but don’t let the MO-mentum end when the calendar hits December. Mental health and physical excellence are year-round endeavors, so be sure to reach out whenever you need a bro (or sis) to listen.
Our trained professionals are ready to help you cope with the very same issues that Movember is tackling, whether they’re cancer-related or revolving around your psychological state of mind. While their foundation raises money and awareness on an international level, we’re focused on keeping our locals healthy. So, if you’re in the SoCal area, be sure to book some face time with us… mustache optional.