Get Moving for Movember
Mustache + November = Movember
Have you heard of Movember? It’s an annual event to raise awareness of men’s health issues, including prostate health, testicular concerns and men’s suicide. Ever since 2004, the Movember Foundation has run events to raise awareness and funds for men’s health. Many of the men who get involved in Movember grow a mustache for the month. (In case you’re stumped by the name, in some parts of the world, “mo” is short for mustache. So … Movember.)
While Movember is a great cause, it’s also a good reminder to be aware of your health. For example, one way of getting involved in Movember is to commit to walking or running 60 miles during the month.
Whether you choose to support Movember or not, the event is a great excuse to get off the couch, go to the gym or dust off the running shoes buried in your closet. No matter how busy you are, your health should be one of your priorities.
Here’s why. Physical activity can lower your risk of serious chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. In fact, men who are active are about half as likely to die from a heart attack compared to those who are inactive. And of course, physical activity can lower your body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, all while helping your energy levels and your self-image.
Heed the prostate
Another one of Movember’s focus areas is prostate cancer, which kills hundreds of thousands of men around the world every year. It happens when cells in the prostate, which is a glad located below your bladder, start to grow out of control.
The good news is that prostate cancer is often one of the slowest-growing kinds of cancer a man can get. The bad news is that it can sometimes spread quickly. Also, especially if you’re relatively young man, prostate cancer can be life-threatening.
Prostate health is not something you want to ignore. If you’re having issues with urination, including increased frequency, a weak stream, painful urination, or blood in your urine, you should contact your doctor. These symptoms might be due to an enlarged prostate, which can indicate an infection, inflammation or — you guessed it — prostate cancer. Get yourself to a specialist for a PSA test: If there’s trouble when you whiz, you’ve got to take the quiz.
Know your nuts
The third thing I like about Movember is that it reminds men to “know your nuts.” In other words, you should be aware of your testicles. Every month, you should give each of your testicles a gentle roll between your fingers and your thumb. If you notice a lump, a change in shape or size, or if there’s pain to the touch, you should get checked by a medical professional.
I find that a lot of men don’t bother to check themselves … or, if they do notice something unusual, they just put up with it or ignore it in the hopes that it will go away. This is a bad idea.
For example, when a testicle gets twisted it can cut off blood flow and cause loss of the testicle. Likewise, a kicked or punched testicle can get engorged with blood and require surgery to drain the blood. And then there are other conditions, like inflammation, varicoceles or testicular cancer. I see a lot of men who have testicular pain. The evaluation to determine the source of pain includes a physical examination, taking samples of urine and semen, and sometimes an ultrasound test or a Doppler test.
I know it’s easy to forget to stay active, just as it’s easy to disregard pain in an area of your anatomy that you may feel a little protective about. But these are important issues and you owe it to yourself to stay on top of your health.
My suggestion to you is that every time you see a mustache, remember to break a healthy sweat and check out anything with your body that doesn’t seem right. In the meantime, have a happy Movember.
If you want to find out more about prostate health, testicular cancer or other men’s health issues, contact Dr. Harry Fisch in New York.