As the year has once again flown by and we have entered well into November, I am sure many of you have spotted a familiar sight in the sleepy caterpillars upon the upper lips of blokes. Movember is again upon us and I would like to take a few moments of your time to remind you of the reason these often, creepy caterpillars have emerged.
Not only is Movember a fantastic way to raise money for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health, but I feel it is an even better opportunity to create awareness of these issues. The Australian Cancer Council places prostate cancer as the most common cancer among Australian men with approximately 20,000 new diagnoses each year (as of 2014 statistics), with these numbers set to rise to about 25,000 by 2020. Although the risk of prostate cancer increases with age, routine check-ups should generally begin at around age 40.
Whilst testicular cancer rates are much lower at around 870 new cases for 2014, the average age of diagnosis is about 35, meaning a younger demographic should become more vigilant in early symptoms.
In regards to mental health, www.mantherapy.org.au is a fantastic resource supported by the beyond blue foundation. I could talk for hours on the different statistics on men’s mental health, however I feel I could not do the topic justice with such amazing resources such as this site available at one click. I highly recommend checking this page out if you suffer or know someone who suffers from a mental health issue.
I want to conclude this article by bringing up a concept not familiar to many called hegemonic masculinity. This sociologic concept attempts to explain the males need for power, dominance and identity. It is driven by societal views and expectations of the male to be a strong, fearless and powerful being. This concept however can potentially be our downfall as men. The fear of being “weak” and reluctance to seek and heed medical advice is where this kind of behavior is dangerous, and is why as a society we ALL have a role to play in tackling men’s health issues.
Pictured is Dr Josh Murphy (Chiropractor), showing off his impressive caterpillar.
Article written by Dr Michael Smith (Chiropractor)