Mo’ support than ever! Movember continues to shine a light on men’s health.
Each year, November sees global charity ‘Movember’ spring into action in its commitment to raising awareness of men's health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health stigma reduction and suicide prevention. While the ritual of growing a ‘Mo’ may appeal to some more than others, the spirit of the cause is one that resonates with an increasing number of men. The movement goes beyond these 'Mo Bros', mobilising individuals to address pressing men's health challenges by raising funds for research and support programs.
The Weight of Stigma on Men’s Mental Health
Men's mental health is an important and increasingly discussed topic. It is pivotal for overall well-being, influencing relationships, work, and personal aspirations. Studies have indicated that men have more stigmatising attitudes toward mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, and those who succumb to suicide, compared to women. Such negative views are more likely to be found among men with lower mental health literacy, and this internalised stigma significantly heightens the risk of harm among men, as they are more likely to face feelings of inadequacy and an inability to meet societal expectations. The Movember movement aims to flip the script on this issue by increasing mental health literacy amongst men of all ages.
What’s the good news?
The good news is that this stigma is decreasing, and the 'bro code' is slowly being rewritten! During the 2020-22 period, men who had experience a mental health disorder in the previous 12 months saw a health professional. This is a 27.5% increase of the use of mental health services for men in Australia since 2007. This is supported by movements such as Movember which aim to increase the overall mental health literacy of men of all ages. While the conversation is evolving for the better, it is important to continue supporting men and encouraging them to embrace and seek professional help. At Advanced Health Medical Centre, we work towards breaking down barriers, empowering men to prioritse their general and mental health.
Annual Health Checks
Regular medical check-ups not only contribute to maintaining your overall health but also provide an opportunity to discuss any health concerns you may have with one of our doctors. Additionally, these health checks play a crucial role in detecting early warning signals of potential diseases or illnesses, especially as you get older. Learn more about men’s health assessments here.
Prostate Cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australian men.
With over 19,000 cases reported annually among Australians annually, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer in men - excluding some skin cancers. It is estimated that by the age of 85, one in six males would have received a diagnosis. Symptoms can include:
- Frequent need to urinate, especially at night.
- Having difficulty urinating, or experiencing a weak urine stream.
- Experiencing pain or discomfort during urination or ejaculation, or in the pelvic area.
- The presence of blood in urine or semen.
- Unexplained pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, with or without pain.
- Swelling in the legs or pelvis, often accompanied by discomfort.
- Unintended weight loss not attributed to diet or lifestyle changes.
It's important to note that these symptoms can have various causes, if you are concerned, promptly seeking medical advice can assist in evaluation, and improve the chances of successful treatment for prostate cancer if found.
Testicular Cancer is the 2nd most common form of cancer found in men.
The second-most common cancer for men in the age range of 18-39 is testicular cancer, affecting approximately 800 Australian men each year. While there are no prevention methods, the most indicative symptom is a lump in the testes. Other symptoms can include:
- A feeling of heaviness, discomfort, or pain in the scrotum or testicle.
- Noticeable change in the size, shape, or consistency of one or both testicles.
- Ongoing testicular pain or tenderness, with or without swelling.
- Build up of fluid leading to swelling in the scrotum.
- Breast growth or tenderness.
- Back pain or lower abdominal pain.
Noticing symptoms sticking around for more than two weeks? This is a good excuse to schedule a health check.
As always, early detection and treatment is extremely important.
Other Health Checks
Also important, particularly as men get older, are a number of other medical concerns that men should be aware of. They include, but are not limited to:
- Cardiovascular disease remains as the leading cause of death in Australia. According to the ABS, heart disease is attributed to more than 18,500 (one in every 10) deaths annually, with over 60% of these being males.
- If you're 45 and over (or 30 and over for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander individuals), a heart health check is recommended.
- Approximately 1 in 13 Australian men are diagnosed with bowel cancer in their lifetime and men represent more than half of diagnosed cases.
- Bowel cancer stands as the third deadliest cancer among men, claiming about 2,838 lives annually - 5.6% of these being under the age of 50.
- Early detection of bowel cancer significantly increases treatment success.
- Every 2 years, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program sends a free, easy test kit to individuals aged 50 to 74, click here for more information.
- 40% of infertility cases are linked to issues in men. Infertility can only be diagnosed through medical tests as ejaculation usually isn't affected.
- Male infertility could be a sign of an underlying health condition, including testosterone deficiency or even testicular cancer.
Type 2 Diabetes:
- In 2021, nearly 1.2 million Australians living with type 2 diabetes.
- Of this, males were 1.3 times more likely to be living with type 2 diabetes compared to females.
- High-risk individuals should have regular blood glucose level measurements, with lifestyle changes crucial for prevention.
As encouraged by the Movember movement, the team at Advanced Health Medical & Dental Centre share interests in many aspects of men's health and offer professional care and advice. Ensuring men's well-being involves regular check-ups and preventative screenings, encompassing vital examinations, especially as they get older. Mental health is important, and seeking professional help when needed is encouraged. Book an appointment here to see one of our professionals.