Movember to stop men dying too young

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It is closing in on the end of Movember. We all have grown accustomed to the furry upper lips floating majestically around our offices and the city. Sadly they will soon be disappearing. With the month coming to an end comes a big ask: take the time this weekend to talk about health with a man that’s important to you. It doesn’t have to be a clinical interview; just taking the time to check-in can make a difference.

Across the world, men die an average six years younger than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Which means that it doesn’t have to be that way: we can all take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives.

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From humble beginnings in Australia in 2003 supported by New Zealand in 2004, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one, inspiring support from over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world. Movember’s initial focus on men’s health and prostate cancer expanded over the years to include testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Since 2003 1,250 men’s health projects have been funded by Movember, including:

  • three-part series ‘Man Up’ that tackles gender stereotypes, the pressures of manhood, and why so many men are driven to suicide.
  • the ‘Making Connections’ project delivered across multiple sites in the USA. This initiative connects men and boys within their communities to promote resilience across generations – working in particular with boys and men of colour, military members, veterans, and their families.

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In 2016 Movember united with the National Breast Cancer Foundation Australia – funding research to transform the lives of both men and women. The move allows researchers to leverage genetic similarities between prostate, breast and ovarian cancers to create progress in treatment methods.

The Movember website has great resources about men’s health and how to start a conversation.

Let’s join our efforts to shine a light on the health risks men need to know about, increasing awareness to stop men dying too young…

US Foundation Photoshoot 2015

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Credits: All photos are from the Movember website.

Coping with cancer fears

Do you know anyone with cancer?
Or anyone in remission after cancer?
How do they cope ? How do you cope?

 

Cancer does affect all of us – even if it does not affect our own body cells directly, it does affect our minds, our hearts, our feelings when someone close to us is suffering from this nasty desease or is in remission after cancer treatment.

What I hate about cancer is that even when it seems to be gone, you can never be sure. It always sits in the back of your mind, it always hides deep in your heart. Every follow up test, every follow up visit to the doctor brings back the fear of recurrence, no matter how deep it might have been hidden. Every phone call from the hospital after all those never-ending tests makes your heart skip a beat.

Tips for Coping With Fear of Recurrence

 from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Accept fears. It is common to experience some fear about cancer recurring. Telling yourself not to worry or criticizing yourself for being afraid won’t make these feelings go away. It may also help to remember that the fear usually lessens over time, and that you won’t always feel so anxious. Be aware that your anxiety may temporarily increase at certain times, such as before follow-up care appointments, around the anniversary date of your diagnosis, or if a friend is diagnosed with cancer.

Don’t worry alone. Talking about your fears and feelings can help reduce your anxiety. Talking and thinking about your concerns can help you explore the issues underlying your fear. Fear of recurrence might include fear of having to repeat cancer treatment, losing control of your life, facing death, or losing someone close to you.

Please don't abandon your friends or loved ones after learning of their cancer diagnosis. If you have a fear of saying the wrong thing or have a fear of losing that person (whatever it is that makes you want to flee from the person with cancer) figure it out & work thru it.....Because to abandon someone with cancer right when they need you most is unforgiveable.From http://www.pinterest.com

Be well informed. Most cancers have a predictable pattern of recurrence. Although a doctor cannot tell exactly what will happen, an oncologist will be able to give specific information about whether the cancer might recur and what symptoms to look for. Knowing what to expect can help you stop worrying that every ache or pain means cancer is back.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep helps you feel better physically and emotionally. Doctors do not know why cancer recurs in some people and not in others, but avoiding unhealthy habits, like smoking and excessive drinking, may help reduce the risk of recurrence.

Reduce stress. Finding ways to lower your stress will help lower your overall level of anxiety. Experiment with different ways of reducing stress to find out what works best for you.

  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Spend time on hobbies and other activities you enjoy
  • Take a walk, meditate, or enjoy a bath
  • Exercise regularly
  • Find time for humorread a funny book or watch a funny movie
  • Avoid unnecessary stress€”don’t take on unnecessary responsibilities or commit yourself to tasks you don’t have time for
  • Simplify your life

Cancer makes us look at life a bit differently. Some things that were important no longer seem as important as they were. Let’s try to enjoy every new day we have. 🙂

Cancer

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Credits:

Image 1 from Just Cancer
Image 2 from http://www.sunrisesigns.com