If the men in your life seem a little hairier this month or if your husband or partner suddenly feels inspired to grow a mustache, don't be frightened, because it's all for a good cause.
It's Movember and those ever-growing mustaches are meant to make men -- and women -- step up and take notice of the biggest men's health issues.
History of Movember
Movember is the month of November re-imagined to educate men about the most pressing health issues they face. The program was founded by Adam Garone and three other concerned individuals in Australia in 2003. Movember began with just 30 participants and last year had 1,127,152 in 21 countries, raising $147 million.
The goal of Movember, according to its founders, is to turn men into "walking, talking billboards" for men's health by growing a mustache/moustache/Mo for 30 days in support of raising awareness and money for men's health issues. Known as Mo Bros, these men must start clean shaven on the first day of November. They can groom their mustache all month long, trimming if needed, but they cannot shave it off.
The role of the women in the participants' lives, known as Mo Sistas, is to show support and explain the reason behind their sudden interest in upper lip facial hair.
Movember is supposed to be a fun way to show your passion for men's health issues and get the conversation going, erase stigma and encourage regular doctor's visits as well as greater self awareness. This month-long campaign focuses on three specific issues:
1. Prostate Cancer -- One out of six men with be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). An estimated 238,590 men will be diagnosed this year with prostate cancer and 29,720 men will die from it. Getting an annual physical is essential to monitor prostate health. You should also keep track of any physical changes you notice, such as increased urgency to urinate or difficulty urinating, which can be a sign of an enlarged prostate. Movember hopes to raise funding for improved clinical tests and treatments.
2. Testicular Cancer -- Less common that prostate cancer, an estimated one out of 270 men will develop testicular cancer in their lifetime, according to the ACS. This year, 7,920 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer and 370 men will die from it and these numbers are on the rise on the U.S. and around the world. As with prostate cancer, early detection is key and you should look out for symptoms like an enlarged testicle, a lump in either testicle and/or dull pain in the abdomen or groin. With the money raised by Movember, the hope is to also improve testing and treatments for testicular cancer.
3. Mental Health -- Mental health issues affect 26.2 percent of American adults, which is about one person out of every four age 18 and older, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH). While the rates are nearly the same for men and women, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the differences lie in when the symptoms begin, the frequency, the course the disorder follows and its outcome. How a man handles social adjustment following diagnosis is also different. The Movember cause also wants to erase the stigma and fear surrounding mental illness with the hope of giving men the tools and knowledge they need to seek help when they aren't well and the support system to help them stay well.
The program's goals also include support for continued physical and mental wellness for men who have or have beat prostate or testicular cancer, which can have immense impact on the body and spirit.
Supporting Your Health
Every man should focus on their overall health and wellness every single day. Here are some ways to make your health a priority:
See your doctor annually.
Pay attention to any changes in your health and appearance.
Take a daily multivitamin to get all your necessary nutrients and fish oil for brain health.
Eat a balanced, clean diet to keep the immune system strong with plenty of antioxidants and the gut healthy with plenty of probiotics.
Do something you enjoy daily to reduce stress.
Get seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Maintain a healthy weight for heart health and to reduce your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.
Quit smoking and consume alcohol responsibly.
Exercise regularly, using a combination of cardio, stretching and strength exercises.
Try adding pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto or stinging nettle to your supplement routine to support prostate health.
Taking passionflower, St. John's Wort and 5-HTP can reduce stress and improve mental wellness.
As always, consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your routine or making drastic changes to your diet, especially if you're currently being treated or a medical condition. They can help you determine the best course of action, including dosage for any supplements and length of treatment.
Get everything you need to stay healthy all Movember and all year long at eVitamins. Show us your Movember mustache on Facebook and Twitter!