“What’s up with John and his hideous new mustache?”
Like me, you may have found yourself asking why your neighbor or co-worker is suddenly growing a wild stache. November is not only known for Thanksgiving and the arrival of colder weather, but it is also Men’s Health Awareness Month. “No Shave November” aims to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. The mustache, the iconic symbol of No Shave November, is a visible reminder of the importance of men’s health. It sparks conversations and encourages men to take charge of their well-being. This month is all about encouraging men to prioritize their well-being and take proactive steps towards a healthier future.
One of the essential aspects of men’s health that often gets overlooked is regular check-ups and screenings. Men, just like women, need to stay on top of their health and make sure to schedule routine appointments with their doctors. One significant reason behind men’s reluctance to address health concerns is societal expectations that dictate men should be tough and resilient. This cultural conditioning often leads men to dismiss symptoms, believing that seeking medical attention is a sign of weakness. As a result, they may delay or altogether avoid getting the necessary help they need.
For instance, studies have shown that men are less likely than women to schedule regular check-ups or engage in preventive care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are 33% more likely to visit a doctor for preventive services and are also more likely to seek medical advice for chronic conditions. This hesitation among men can lead to undiagnosed diseases and worsen existing conditions, resulting in more severe health issues down the line.
Moreover, certain health conditions disproportionately affect men, making it even more vital for them to prioritize their well-being. For example, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, and early detection through screenings such as colonoscopies can be life-saving.
Men, especially those over 50 years old, should not procrastinate or be stubborn when it comes to getting this important screening done. I was one of those stubborn guys. I finally had my first colonoscopy last spring. I was nervous about the procedure. I shouldn’t have been. The whole procedure was much easier than I had anticipated, and luckily everything checked out well for me. I was fortunate.
Recently, a friend in his early 40’s wasn’t so lucky. He went in for his first colonoscopy, and his doctor found some issues. On a positive note, doctors detected his issue early, and it should be completely treatable. This serves as a perfect reminder of why early screening is so important. Do not wait!
Catching health issues early is key to successful treatment and improved outcomes. By being proactive and scheduling routine check-ups, screenings, and tests, men can take control of their health and prevent potential problems from escalating. Remember, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
So this November, let’s rally behind the importance of men’s health. Encourage the men in your life to break free from the stigma surrounding health discussions and prioritize their well-being. Spread the word about the significance of screenings like colonoscopies and support initiatives like No Shave November. Together, we can create a healthier and happier future for all men and our families.