While many of our posts focus more so on women topics, this week we are talking about men. It is November. For many men this is the month they look forward to… no shave November. For many women, it is the month they dread, the month their husbands, fiances, partners, boyfriends, brothers, sons, etc. all have an excuse, and a valid excuse, not to shave. Though I personally am not the biggest fan of facial hair, I am a fan of promoting cancer awareness. So alas, I will forfeit my battle against hairy faces for this one month to hopefully help men realize how being stubborn is being stupid when it comes to healthcare concerns and cancer prevention.
This past summer I was talking with a guy friend of mine and it is no secret in our circle of friends that he has had a health concern. Being the nurse who has a medical brain on even when I don’t mean to, I started asking questions. This friend of mine had had this problem for 3 years and had yet to see a physician for it. At that moment I could very well have scared him (as a cancer nurse my thought immediately goes to yikes! that is what one of my patients first symptoms were!), but instead I gently (ok maybe more like sternly) encouraged him to go to a primary care provider to start. I then sent him the contact information of a good physician. Thankfully, he got an appointment shortly after that.
I would like to say I haven’t seen this happen within the hospital, but I have. Unfortunately, a lot of times those cases were much, much worse than my friends. They ranged from kidney failure, to metastatic cancer everywhere being found in the late stages, to a massive heart attack where I was his nurse as he took his final breath. I don’t write these to scare you, but to show you that being manly isn’t about refusing to get seen by a medical professional, but being manly is take charge of your own health and making the changes you need to make.
Driving through Michigan I always see this billboard…
The statistics are out. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:
Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22 percent more likely to have neglected their cholesterol tests.
Men are 28 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure.
Men are 32 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for long-term complications of diabetes and are more than twice as likely than women to have a leg or foot amputated due to complications related to diabetes.
Men are 24 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for pneumonia that could have been prevented by getting an immunization
According to Mayo, the 3 leading health threats for men are heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury. Mayo makes a good point, for the most part these can be preventable in many aspects. And with proper screening, prostate cancer can be found early on.
Men, hear me on this. You are not weak for seeking treatment. You are not weak for having depression. You are not weak for needing help with alcoholism. You are not weak for needing help to quit smoking. You are not weak for needing doctor because things just aren’t right. You are not weak for needing extra testosterone. You are not weak for going to the doctor. You are not weak for needing a personal trainer. You are not weak for needing a nutritionist. In fact it is the exact opposite, you are strong for taking these steps to a healthier you so that you can be there for your loved ones. Some cancers can be preventable. Let’s take those steps together.
I challenge you to make this sign the truth…
Men, raise awareness 1 hairy face at a time. Women, let’s let them have their beards for this one month to hopefully raise awareness and save some lives!
With that being said, we want to see you best no shave November pictures you’ve got, so send them our way!