Growing up as a male teenager, discussion about men’s health generally involved being lambasted by my GP for not keeping a healthy diet or exercising regularly enough. However, more recently, the discussion of testicular cancer has become more of a concern.
This discussion always put me off, as I generally did not want to think of the prospect of being diagnosed with cancer on my balls. Of course, I had heard of prostate and testicular cancer before. However, I lacked an understanding of what it really was. After all, there is a sense of great pride in the reproductive system, especially at university.
I knew that the dialogue would primarily remain in the examination room and I did not think too much of it once I left my GP. Talking about sex and balls was all good fun, but the worry of being diagnosed with testicular cancer didn’t seem like something that could ever happen to me.
An open dialogue on men’s health was something that mattered to me and I never felt like the opportunity for discussion was there. Limiting the discussion to testicular cancer was only a small part of it. Topics such as suicide and depression were never brought up since most people assumed that men were “strong” and could “handle their emotions”. Moreover, if you asked men in general, they would rarely admit to opening up to their friends about sexual and mental health. That was until I came across the Movember Foundation.
This past summer, I stumbled across a Movember advert looking for student ambassadors to spread the word across their universities. I decided to give it a shot and was then accepted into their brand ambassador programme. Now having done my summer training, I am eager to teach others about Men’s Health. Everyone has heard the word Movember and the idea of “No-Shave November”, but what is it really about?
Movember is the only charity tackling Men’s Health on a global scale. The charity addresses some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. For 14 years now, Movember has funded more than 1,200 Men’s Health projects around the world. They are independent of government funding and can therefore challenge the status quo and invest more quickly in effective schemes.
I am happy to bring Movember to Queen Mary and want to increase the dialogue around Men’s Health on campus. It is important to know the basics of Men’s Health and eliminate the stigma behind it. Therefore, I am hosting a number of “Get Active” events around campus – all to join and talk about some of the key issues facing men today.
The Movember Foundation prides itself on getting men (and women) active during the month of November and growing a moustache (or drawing one) to show their support of Men’s Health. I have created a Facebook page where students can find information on how to participate in Movember next month.
We will be hosting a number of events throughout the month, such as charity matches and spicy wing eating contest, where all proceeds will be donated to Movember.
If you are looking to join, take action and be part of the dialogue, please join our Facebook page.