The Movember movements is all about creating an awareness on major men’s health issues and urging men of all ages to pay attention to their body

For most people ‘Movember’ is just about growing a moustache or a beard and exploring a new look in the month of November. But NO, that’s not it.




The Movember campaign was started to raise awareness on health issues that affect men. In most cultures across the globe, the male is seen as a figure of power and authority, hence admitting to sickness is considered a sign of weakness. As a result, many men do not take proper care of their health – physical and emotional. Stress and unattended disease can eventually prove fatal.




The Movember movements is all about

  • * Creating an awareness on major men’s health issues
  • * Urging men of all ages to pay attention to their body
  • * Encouraging men to seek medical help without delay



While most medical conditions are common amongst men and women, there are a few that either affect only men or that affect men in a very different way. For instance, the way a man’s body reacts to stress and the way a woman’s body reacts to stress is so different, and probably one of the key causes for heart disease being more common amongst men.


Some health issues that men must watch out for:

  • Mental Health
  • Heart Disease
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer



Emotional well-being is extremely important for an individual to live a happy and productive life. Statistics reveal that globally at least one male dies every minute because of suicide. This is an alarming piece of information. Peer pressure, stress at the workplace, stress over family, financial affairs, fear of failure and personal health issues can really push someone to the edge. As a society, it is up to us to see that they do not go over.


Watch out for red flags such as:

  • – Social anxiety
  • – Depression
  • – Sudden episodes of rage
  • – Withdrawal from society
  • – Disruptive sleep patterns

These are some signs that the person is battling stress. Find a way to get him help at the earliest to prevent him from taking any extreme measures.




Men are prone to a heart attack at an earlier age than women. Cardiovascular disease occurs 7 to 10 years later in women than in men. This could be because the way men handle stress physiologically and emotionally is less adaptive, thereby increasing the risk for coronary heart disease. Men with a hostile and angry personality, need to find ways to de-stress without hurting their heart. Extreme stress can raise blood pressure and restrict the flow of blood to the heart, leading to heart disease. An angry outburst can cause a heart attack or a stroke.


Signs of heart attack in men:

  • – Chest pain
  • – Shortness of breath
  • – Pain / tingling in the arms, back or neck

Make necessary lifestyle changes to keep cardiovascular diseases at bay.

  • – Quit smoking
  • – Work out regularly
  • – Keep a check on cholesterol, blood pressure & blood sugar levels
  • – Eat a healthy diet



Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide. 1.4million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. In most Prostate cancer cases, the disease progresses extremely slow, and the person shows next to no symptoms for an extended period. However, the good news is that the disease is completely curable. Given that Prostate Cancer is age dependent and more prevalent amongst older men, those aged 40 and above must consult with their physician on when to be screened for it. In the invasive stage (except during stage 4), with Radiotherapy as the main modality of treatment it is highly curable. Screening for prostate cancer generally involves a blood test to check Prostate Specific Antigen concentration in the blood. Based on the results further diagnostic tests may be required.




Testicular Cancer is the most common cancer amongst young men between the age of 15 and 35. However, testicular cancer is highly treatable even if it has spread to other parts of the body when detected early.


Factors that increase one’s risk for testicular cancer are:

  • an undescended testicle
  • abnormal development of the testicle
  • family/ personal history of testicular cancer

Some symptoms of testicular cancer:

  • Unusually enlarged testicle
  • A lump in one of the testicles
  • Collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain/ discomfort in the scrotum
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Enlargement / tenderness of the breasts

In most cases treatment might involve surgical removal of the affected testes, followed by chemotherapy/ radiotherapy to kill any remnant cancer cells in the body. The removal of one testis does not necessarily impact sex drive and fertility. Nevertheless, discuss sperm banking before undergoing chemotherapy/radiotherapy.


Dr. R. Ramya is a family medicine specialist
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