Commentary

Where my Mo brothers at?

November 2, 2017

By Sarah Sobanski

As we move into the next month of the year we come across another hair growing month — the one, the only, the one that started it all — Movember. It’s the international month of moustaches to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers. Since its inception, hair growing for causes has become a normal thing to do and since it have come Julyna, for cervical cancers awareness and Decembeard — we’re not really sure what that one is about, mostly showing off and scratchy Christmas kisses.

But I digress. These awareness months are about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Brass tacks: according to the Movember Foundation, early detection of prostate cancer is key. Men, listen up, your survival rate beyond five years drops by more than 70 per cent if the cancer is detected late.

There are three men close to me that have had prostate cancer — that I know about — one of them beat it without surgery for more than a decade by changing his diet. He passed at a ripe old age of Alzheimer’s. You can live longer too, if you go get checked!

Us girls have mammograms and pap tests. You boys have rectal exams. It’s time we start talking about these things without inhibitions.

Between our area health teams and pharmacies there are more than a few loyal health practitioners that will have no problem having a conversation with you about what you need to do to protect yourself.

If you’re 50, the Movember Foundation says “you need to have a conversations with your doctor about Prostate Specific Antigen testing.” You have to do it at 45 if “you’re of African or Caribbean descent…[and/or] if you have a family history” of these cancers. Remember it’s the second most common cancer in men.

Moving right along, testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer for men between the ages of 15 and 29. So as the foundation puts it, “know thy nuts.” It says, “If you notice a change in size or shape, a lump that wasn’t there before, or if they become painful to touch, see a doctor. Don’t panic, but do get it checked out.”

Movember is also about men’s mental health — all these things go hand in hand. The foundation states one in 10 Canadian men will experience major depression in the course of their lives and three out of four suicides are men. It encourages men to talk, reach out and be a set of ears for someone who is struggling.

I want to see moustaches all across Bancroft in this month. Send them to us here at Bancroft This Week — patches, wisps, wax and all. I’m hoping we get enough to dedicate a page to the month for men’s health — but that’s up to you more than me.

As the foundation says, the moustache is the ribbon for men’s health. They’re needed because “men are facing a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. They are dying too young, before their time.”

Get creative. The Movember Foundation has some great suggestions including letting your highest donor pick the shade you dye your moustache. That’s the other thing, don’t forget to donate. Raising awareness is one thing, acting is another, and helping cause action paramount.

For more information on any of these things, check out the foundation’s website at www.ca.movember.com.

         

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