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Clinical Corner: Happy Movember!

Two Bearded Friends Drinking Coffee and Taking Selfie in Restaurant

Happy Movember!

By Phil Niles, Clinical Nurse Manager, Medical Solutions

For those of you who can grow them, I hope those mustaches are coming in strong this Movember!

This month we’re celebrating Movember, an annual mustache-growing event that aims to raise awareness about men’s health. Of course, women’s health is of paramount importance, but let’s face it, guys: We stink at caring for ourselves. Statistics show that men take more physical risks and are 24 percent more likely to have not visited a doctor in the last year. Men also are reluctant to visit a doctor when facing mental or physical illness. For example, wrecking your mountain bike, breaking a couple of ribs, cracking your sternum, and then refusing to go to the ER because you’re “fine.” Oh … maybe that’s just me? Well, then I’m guilty, too.

There is also a general lack of public awareness of men’s health issues. Women being proactive and engaging in preventative activities is widely recognized and established as the norm.  Men on the other hand, who are equally at risk, are not as often actively encouraged to see their doctor on a regular basis. Movements like Movember and Men’s Health Month in June help bring the issue of men’s health to everyone’s attention. Movember also specifically brings attention to prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. If you’re 40 or older, you need to start having conversations with your doctor about prostate cancer screenings. And make sure to regularly screen yourselves for testicular cancer, which can occur in young men as early as 15.

Fake mustache fun

Get your mustaches AND your healthly habits on this month!

The top three leading causes of death in men are heart disease, cancer, and accidents. Many of these ailments are preventable! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 12.4 percent of all men age 18 and older rate themselves as having fair to poor health. Here are a few more enlightening statistics from the CDC:

  • 58 percent of men 18 and older report meeting the federal physical activity guidelines for leisure or other aerobic activity
  • 8 percent of men 18 and older report smoking regularly
  • 6 percent of men 20 and older are obese
  • 1 percent of men 20 and over have high blood pressure
  • 9 percent of men under the age of 65 do not have health insurance coverage

These are some of the problems, so what can you do about it?

First, get moving! Stand up and walk around. This is the simplest thing you can do for yourself to positively impact your health. Just this action alone can reduce risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, and even some cancers, according to the CDC. Obviously, quitting smoking, eating healthy, losing weight, and seeing your doctor regularly are also important. However, just getting up from your chair once a day and walking for 30 minutes can drastically improve your health. This can be as simple as walking around the block!

Be an advocate for your own health. See your doctor when you’re not sick! Crazy, right? A preventative doctor visit will cost you a co-pay and maybe a new prescription. An average hospital stay costs $10,000. The choice seems obvious, even just considering the financial impact. Another, powerful reason men do not go to the doctor is fear; fear of the unknown and fear of disease. A rational rebuttal to this is that if there is a disease lurking it will be there whether you know about it or not. Fear, however, is not rational. It can force a person to turn a blind eye to symptoms and minimalize them as just a passing thing. Seeing your doctor regularly is not only cost-effective, but it can also catch health risks and help prevent chronic health problems. According to the CDC, up to 40 percent of deaths from common health issues could have been prevented.

Bottom line? Get off your butt, make healthy choices, and go see your doctor. Do it for your family. Do it for yourself. Make the proactive choice to improve your health by taking one step (literally, sometimes!) or several steps as needed. And keep rocking those incredible mustaches!

About the Author

Hi, I'm Sarah Wengert, a creative content writer for the amazing Medical Solutions based in Omaha, Nebraska. While I'm not a Travel Nurse, I love to travel and I truly appreciate the hard, important work that nurses do. I'm very happy to represent a company that cares so much about its people. Thanks for reading!

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