This year Eastbourne Chiropractors James Revell, Joe Williams , Stuart Doree and Daniel Upton all joined the Movember effort in growing their moustaches. As well as raising awareness in the clinic, our guests (patients) have been kind enough to donate almost £200.
Every November men around the world grow a moustache. This is all part of the increasingly popular “Movember”. Movember is a fund raising and awareness building charity, which aims to improve men’s awareness of their health.
Let’s face it, men are known to be more indifferent towards their health. The reasons for the poor state of men’s health in the UK and around the world are numerous and complex. Social scientists have plenty of explanations including the demasculinisation associated with asking for help (or for directions!), admitting any weakness or vulnerability. Men have been conditioned by society to maintain a strong front. Whilst may have helped me compete in cave man times it doesn’t really serve them now.
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. Men are not good at openly discussing their health concerns with each other, or even with a professional. As a result, today the levels of awareness, understanding and funding for support of male health issues, like prostate cancer, lag significantly behind causes such as breast cancer. Even at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne we see slightly more women than men and some of the men have only come because their wife/partner made the appointment for them.
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 work schedule
- Can’t be bothered making an appointment
- Worried how they will tell their partner
- Fear that their friends/colleagues will look down on them
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. Men visit the doctor far less than women (especially young men – who are incidentally the highest risk category for suicide). Socially acceptable phrases such as “man flu” make the situation worse, further adding to the social pressure on men – particularly young men – to remain strong, not asking for help or even discuss health concerns.
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, the idea is to give men the opportunity and confidence to talk about their health.
Movember’s campaign objective is to raise awareness of men’s health issues, specifically cancers affecting men.
In reality everyone should know that most cancers are highly curable if caught in the early stages – including prostate and testicular cancer. This Movember, as well as growing moustaches and raising funds our team have been giving out information leaflets, showing videos and talking to our guests about some of the simple statistics and fact about men’s health.
At Lushington we hope that as part of the international Movember we have helped increase men’s awareness of health issues, particularly cancer.
Here are some facts about health issues that effect many men:
- The average life expectancy for men in the UK is four years less than women. – Come on guys lets improve things
- Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK. Over 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 – check your testicles for lumps or changes and report any concerns to your GP
- 1 in 4 British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year – stress and depression are nothing to be embarrassed about, ask your Chiropractor, GP and friends for help
- Men are far less likely to ask for help when faced with a health problem. Men – in particular young men rarely seek GP appointments
- 42% of men were classified as overweight in 2010 (in England) compared to 32% women – we’ll talk more about this in another blog guys. We know it’s not hard to get it all right, but you’ll live longer, be less of a burden on your family and enjoy life more if you follow the basics: eat well; less alcohol/smoking; de-stress and exercise more. Remember set realistic, achievable goals and congratulate yourself when you achieve them – Rome was not built in a day
- Obese men are 5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and 3 times more likely to develop cancer of the colon –it’s worth changing those habits
- Men are more likely to commit suicide than women, the highest risk group of all is young men (which are also the least likely group to ask for help) – if you’re stressed or depressed then talk to someone, your Chiropractor, GP, friends and family
It’s not all bad news! Change is happening. Each year £1,000 are raised by Movember. Guys of all ages try their hand at growing a “tash” and a few of them even talk to each other about their health, their stress, depression, fears etc
Well done you “Mo-bros” and thanks for all the support from our “Mo-sisters”.
Maintaining a good diet, smart lifestyle choices and getting regular health check-ups and screening tests can improve your health, quality and QUANTITY of life.
Ask your Chiropractor if you have any questions about your health. Chiropractors are well placed to help given their detailed training and wellness perspective on health issues.
Post any questions or comments here and I look forward to replying.
By James Revell
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