If the world appears a little scruffier this time of year, that’s no accident. “No Shave November,” or “Movember,” is a month when men put down the razor to let their magnificent moustaches and burly beards run wild for 30 days. It’s fun to see how fast facial hair can grow in just one month, but it’s also for an important cause. No Shave November helps raise awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide prevention.
How important is this cause? According to the American Cancer Society, we lost more than 29,000 men to prostate cancer in 2018, and nearly 10,000 cases of testicular cancer were diagnosed. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says that men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women. Those numbers are grim, but both men and women around the world are doing something about it!
While you’re growing a big beard for November (or putting up with your partner’s and counting down the days to Dec. 1), here are some men’s heath epidemics to keep in mind:
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States for men after lung cancer, and beating it requires early detection. You have a 98 percent chance of surviving prostate cancer beyond five years if it’s detected early but only a 26 percent chance if it’s detected late. Doctors recommend your first prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening at 50 years old or between the ages of 40 and 45 if prostate cancer runs in your family. It may be a moment at the doctor’s office we all dread, but yes, you need to get your prostate checked.
While most cancers affect older adults, testicular cancer is most commonly diagnosed in young men. The survival rate for testicular cancer is very high — only 400 men passed away from the illness in 2018 — but that’s no reason to ignore the symptoms. Early detection requires a doctor visit, but you can check for signs of testicular cancer on your own. Of course, if you do find something abnormal, you should go to your doctor immediately.
Anyone can have depression or die by suicide, but men are especially affected, making up 75 percent of all suicides in the United States. When suicide is in the news, we hear about the importance of reaching out and speaking up when we need help. While this is true, we should also learn how to ask our friends and family if they’re OK. The Movember Foundation lays out four steps — ask, listen, encourage action, and check in — to ensure the people closest to us get the help they need.
What You Can Do
Now that you know about pressing men’s health issues, there’s plenty you can do to make the world a better place while you celebrate No Shave November.
Keep Talking About It
Discussing cancer and suicide prevention can be uncomfortable, but it’s important to normalize these issues by talking about them. Prostate cancer isn’t exactly a light dinner conversation topic, but we should be able to talk about it as openly as any other cancer. Let the power of awareness be the cure.
Consider donating to nonprofit organizations like the Movember Foundation that spread awareness, fund cancer organizations, and care for men struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
You can also get involved directly with the Isagenix Legacy Foundation, which makes wellness education one of its three callings of charity. The Foundation works with various organizations around the world through donations and volunteering. You can donate directly to the Isagenix Legacy Foundation, or if you’re a Customer, you can set up automatic contributions through your Back Office.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate!
No Shave November may revolve around serious men’s health issues, but don’t forget to have fun growing your beard! In fact, you should celebrate knowing men and women around the world are taking action and bringing awareness to men’s health each year. That’s worth a bearded smile.