8th November 2022
8th November 2022
Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide.
The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.”
The Movember charity raises funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programmes that enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives.
Committed to disrupting the status quo, millions have joined the movement, helping fund over 1,250 projects around the world. In addition to tackling key health issues faced by men, Movember is working to encourage men to stay healthy in all areas of their life, with a focus on men staying socially connected and becoming more open to discussing their health and significant moments in their lives. The charity’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.
The gap between male and female life expectancy in the UK has begun to widen again, after narrowing steadily for almost four decades, reinforcing Movember’s call for a greater focus on men’s health and empowerment of men to take action to improve their health.
An analysis of official figures has shown that the difference in life expectancy between men and women in the UK dropped from six years in 1982-1984 down to 3.6 years in 2016-2018. However, prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap in life expectancy between men and women began to widen again and in 2017-2019 stood at 3.7 years. The gap further expanded in 2018-20 to 3.9 years, largely driven by higher mortality rates in men from COVID-19.
Movember CEO Michelle Terry said: “Women outlive men everywhere in the world. However, in the UK, the gender gap had been gradually narrowing since the 1980s until 2017-2019, when it began to widen again. We know that men have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 which is why male life expectancy has fallen back to levels not seen since 2012-2014. But, in addition to this, there are other reasons that men’s health remains unnecessarily poor and some of the causes of the disparity between men and women’s life expectancies are preventable.”
Michelle adds: “For many men, taking care of their health isn’t high on their list of priorities – at least until they get older, or a problem becomes impossible to ignore. But there are some simple steps you can take to load the dice in your favour and increase your chances of living a longer, healthier, happier life.”
You can increase your chances of living longer by dealing with any health problems quickly. If you’re worried about something, get it checked out, and if you’re offered screening, take advantage of it. Find out if your parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles suffered from any serious illness, especially if they died prematurely, and share that information with your GP.
Data from NHS England shows 12,000 fewer men received a first treatment for prostate cancer from April 2020 to May 2021 due to a drop in referrals. If you think something might be wrong, don’t be afraid to speak to your GP about it or seek a second opinion.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men, and in most cases the outcome for men with testicular cancer is positive, however early detection is key. Be sure to check yourself regularly – it’s as simple as carefully and gently rolling one testicle at a time between thumb and forefinger – the shower is a great place to do this.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer overall in UK men, and the risk of the developing it increases with age. If you’re 50, you should be talking to your doctor about your prostate risk and whether you might need a PSA [prostate-specific antigen] blood test. If you’re black or have a family history of prostate cancer, you are 2.5 times more likely to get it, and will need to start that conversation at 45.
A six-month research project from Movember on the impact of the pandemic showed that three in five men (58%) suffered from poor wellbeing, and a third (29%) met the World Health Organisation’s criteria for depression. It also found more than half of men surveyed (54%) believe Covid has had a permanent impact on their mental health.
Movember encourages talking to people you trust when times get tough and speaking to a health professional when you need to. Confiding in someone about an issue that’s bothering you can help you stay mentally healthy. It isn’t a sign of emotional weakness – getting someone else’s perspective can help you see a situation in a new light.
In return, research suggests that supporting a mate in bad times also creates positive feelings in oneself, giving a feeling of purpose and self-worth.
The NHS recommends adults do some type of physical activity every day to reduce the risk of health problems such as heart disease or stroke. Not only does exercise benefit your physical health it also raises self-esteem and positively changes your mood. Signing up to ‘move’ for Movember is a great excuse to kick start a new routine or motivation to continue with your current regime.
Make sure to keep on top of your jabs as we head into winter. Guidance from the NHS shows more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the pandemic. Additionally, if you get both Covid-19 and flu at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill. Globally, men are significantly more likely than women to become seriously ill from Covid-19 and twice as likely to die from the disease. Yet in the UK, uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine is lower in men than in women.
The NHS recommends getting vaccinated against both flu and Covid-19, to protect yourself and those around you from both these serious illnesses, and if you are offered both vaccines, it’s safe to have them at the same time. The flu vaccine is free for some groups, including those over 50.
Rooted in fun, Movember provides an opportunity to time to come together while also raising funds for lifesaving research and programs aimed at helping our fathers, brothers, friends and sons from dying too young. Not only does signing up help the men in your life, but research commissioned last year also showed men who take part in the annual campaign are more likely to report better mental health and wellbeing than the general male population.
Movember supporters tend to be more physically active, better understand the risk factors for prostate cancer and are more likely to carry out testicular self-examination checks than those who did not take part in the campaign Raise funds and awareness this November by growing a moustache, committing to moving over 60km in the month, hosting a mo-moment, or ‘mo-ing’ your own way.
Find out more about Movember.
Imperial Pharmacy is one of the oldest independent dispensing chemists in Tunbridge Wells and can be found in The Pantiles.
The friendly and knowledgeable staff can offer help and advice on a variety of men’s healthcare matters and their pharmacists are highly trained with a broad spectrum of experience.
Open from 9am to 6.30pm during the week and 9am to 5.30pm on Saturdays, the Imperial Pharmacy provide a dispensing service for your NHS prescriptions, whether it is from your doctor, dentist or prescribing nurse. They also dispense private prescriptions.
Imperial Pharmacy can also carry out flu vaccinations. Appointments are already being booked and are subject to availability, so don’t miss out!