Every year, millions of men grow mustaches to participate in #movember or #noshavenovember. For some, it may just be a chance to try out a Tom Selleck ‘stache and throw it on social media for fun. However, many others take the opportunity each November to grow out the old soup-strainer for a cause – raising money and awareness of serious health issues affecting men today. At Medical Offices of Manhattan, we’re committed to being involved in the conversation on men’s health and helping our male patients prevent and overcome these issues.
Movember (a portmanteau of “moustache” and “November”) was originally started in Melbourne, Australia in 2003. The movement encourages men to grow mustaches each November to show their support in the fight against causes of preventable death in men, such as suicide and prostate cancer. The Movember Foundation has since expanded into an international entity, having raised over $800 million since its inception.
Roughly one in nine men will have prostate cancer at some point during his life, and the American Cancer Society estimates that almost 200,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed in 2020. Prostate cancer is a serious disease, being second only to lung cancer in annual cancer deaths among American men. Movember also highlights other cancers that become more common as men get older, such as testicular cancer and colon cancer.
Prostate cancer most commonly affects men who are over the age of 65, but it’s a good idea to begin getting screened earlier on. Screening should be done at least once every ten years, beginning at age 50 if you are at average risk or age 45 if you have close relatives who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Similarly, it is recommended that you get screened for colon cancer every decade beginning at the age of 45.
Medical Offices of Manhattan offers a variety of cancer screenings, including colonoscopies. It’s so critical to get regular checkups and examinations – early detection allows a wider range of treatment options and can significantly improve your chances of beating the disease. You can schedule an appointment for PSA prostate testing or other screenings by using the online portal at Labfinder.
There are a number of steps that men can take to manage their own health, particularly as they get older. Some of the most important things we can do are simple lifestyle decisions like eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Learn how to self-examine for signs of testicular cancer and check yourself every month. Men are statistically more likely than women to make risky health decisions including skipping medical checkups, smoking, and drinking to excess. Making healthy everyday choices should be a foundational part of any plan to improve longevity and quality of life.