Movember Is Here!

Posted by: jreeveseastwood - Posted on:

Ready Set Mo (30th October) 2ND

The annual campaign is back, MOVEMBER is responsible for thousands of moustaches across the UK with the aim to raise vital funds and awareness for Men’s Health.

Movember is an annual event run by the Movember Foundation since 2003 encouraging the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise funds and awareness about different aspects of Men’s Health.

A registered charity, Movember has funded more than 1,250 projects worldwide, designed to transform how health services reach and support men.

The main aim is to stop so many men from dying before their time from suicide, prostate, or testicular cancer. Their goal is to encourage men to take some time to pause and consider their own health.

It is important to be proactive about your health and healthcare. By being aware of your health and body, it is easier to notice any changes which might occur; any concerns should be discussed with your doctor. For more information take a look at the Movember website HERE.

Many men delay or avoid doctor visits due to embarrassment or fear. However, talking to a healthcare professional can alleviate anxiety and provide necessary knowledge. Movember and other campaigns promote conversations about men’s health, encouraging men to overcome barriers to seeking care. Open dialogue with doctors helps address health issues early on. Creating a safe environment for discussing personal health is crucial. Men’s health initiatives raise awareness, dispel stigmas, and empower men to prioritize their health. They challenge outdated notions of masculinity and contribute to societal change. Men’s well-being depends on breaking the cycle of avoidance.


You can easily use self-examining techniques yourself to uncover early warning signs of men’s health issues, from heart disease to testicular cancer:

Heart Rate Check

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. One quick self-exam to gauge the health of your heart is to check your pulse when you’re at rest. Place the first two fingers of one hand on the area at the base of the wrist on your other hand. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by six. A normal pulse (heart rate) for a man should be between 60 and 100. Anything outside that range could be a sign of cardiovascular problems. You should also pay attention to the space between beats. An irregular pulse could be a sign of a heart related issue for which medical input would be important.

Blood Pressure Check

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as: heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

You should see your doctor for an official reading, but you may also want to keep tabs on your blood pressure at home between check-ups with an easy-to-use blood pressure monitor, which are relatively inexpensive to buy online or at any pharmacy. Blood pressure can change from day to day, so write down your readings and look at the average over about 10 readings. Let your doctor know if the higher (systolic) number is consistently above 120 or the lower (diastolic) number is consistently above 80.

Testicular Cancer Check

Testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers among men. The earlier you find it; the better your prognosis is likely to be. A self-examination of the testicles is a good way to find this cancer at an early stage when it is very treatable. The best time to do a testicular self-exam is after a shower, when your scrotum is relaxed. Check your testicles for any lumps or changes in size, and let your doctor know if you find anything.

Skin Cancer Check

To do a self-check for skin cancer, look for moles that change in size, shape, thickness, or colour. Let your doctor know about any growths that bleed, itch, burn, or crust over. It is best to get naked and look everywhere! This includes your scalp and on the soles of your feet. Many skin cancers are found in sun-exposed areas where you often don’t think to put sunscreen such as your ears or difficult to reach places like your back.

If you do have concerns, ignoring the issues rarely helps – take prompt action and contact your doctor.

Mental Health

People of all genders can be affected by mental illness. Although the experiences may vary, it is incorrect to assume that men do not face struggles merely because they are often depicted or expected to be tough and reserved. This expectation stems from toxic masculinity and has led to negative mental health consequences for men. Men are at a higher risk of substance abuse, violent behaviour, and suicide.

Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men aged under 50. The reasons behind it are complex, but it disproportionately affects men.


Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women: only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.


Would be concerned about taking time off work, whilst 46% would be embarrassed or ashamed to tell their employer. (Men’s Health Forum)


Of deaths by suicide are males, and they are three times more likely to die by suicide than women.

Higher rates of suicide are also found in minority communities, including war veterans, and those with low incomes. Less well-off middle-aged men are particularly likely to die by suicide.

While all this can paint a gloomy picture, help and support are available if you’re worried about your own or someone else’s mental health.

Why don’t men talk about mental health?

The influence of societal expectations and traditional gender roles contributes to the hesitance among men when it comes to discussing or seeking assistance for their mental health issues. While we acknowledge that gender stereotypes often adversely affect women, imposing certain behavioural or physical appearance standards on them, it is crucial to recognize that these stereotypes and societal norms can also be harmful to men.

Skewed expectations around how men should display emotion can lead to a fear of being judged, or for crying or appearing “weak.” Men are often expected to be the breadwinners and to be strong, dominant and in control. While these aren’t inherently bad things, they can make it harder for men to reach out for help and open up.

Media and television shows often portray crying men as something to be mocked, but mocking this healthy, human emotional release only serves to discourage men from crying and talking to others about their difficulties.

Is depression different for men?

While there isn’t a different sort of ‘male depression’, some symptoms are more common in men than women. These include irritability, sudden anger, increased loss of control, risk-taking and aggression.

Men may also be more likely to use alcohol and drugs to cope with their depression rather than talking about it. They may use escapist behaviour too, such as throwing themselves into their work.

If you’re experiencing depression, there is help available. Read more about the symptoms of depression and ways to get support.

What are the symptoms of mental disorders in men?

In many cases, men and women do not differ in the symptoms they will experience when struggling with their mental health. If you’re concerned you or someone else might be suffering from mental health issues, consider these common signs and symptoms:

  • Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness.
  • Noticeable changes in mood, energy level, or appetite.
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless, or on edge.
  • Increased worry or feeling stressed.
  • Misuse of alcohol, drugs, or both.
  • Overwhelming feelings of sadness.
  • Withdrawal from friends and family.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Feeling tired or fatigued.
  • Physical symptoms like shortness of breath or headaches.
  • Working obsessively
  • Reckless behaviour

The following factors can contribute to poor mental health:

  • Social isolation
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Overeating junk food, particularly processed, high-sugar foods
  • Major life stressors, such as job loss, divorce, financial issues, illness, the death of a loved one, a move or a new job

What can I do if I’m worried about my mental health?

Surveys from around the world find that males everywhere are reluctant to talk about their mental health and are more likely to die by suicide than females, but strong social connections can reduce the risk of suicide – men talking to each other does make a difference. simple changes such as talking about your feelings, keeping active and eating well can help you feel better. Move for mental health could help you with staying active, click HERE to see how.

For some tips on staying well, start by looking at our best mental health tips below.

Build social connections

It’s important to have a good social support group, whether that’s your family or your friends. Look for people who are positive, have an open mind and are supportive.

Engage in a hobby

Engaging in a hobby that brings you joy can greatly contribute to your mental well-being. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize activities such as hiking, woodworking, cooking, sports, working out, swimming, gardening, traveling, reading, or watching movies – whatever you fancy – in order to ensure a healthy mind.

Get regular exercise

Multiple research studies show that getting 20 minutes of physical activity three times per week reduces the risk of depression and anxiety, he says. This includes any form of exercise that increases your heart rate, such as walking, running, hiking, swimming, cycling or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Nourish your body

Eat fresh, whole foods as much as possible. This includes lean protein, healthy fats, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Limit alcohol, sugar, processed food, and refined carbohydrates.

Consider counselling.

Counselling is a safe space to express emotions and seek guidance for managing stress. It offers non-judgmental support, helps develop coping skills, identifies harmful patterns, and sets goals for personal growth. Seeking therapy can lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.

If you’re concerned, you’re developing a mental health problem, talk to your GP. It can be daunting, but most people find that speaking to their GP and getting help and support can make a big difference in their lives.

If you’re in distress and need immediate help or are feeling like ending your life, please call 999 or go to A&E and ask for the contact of the nearest crisis resolution team. These are teams of mental health care professionals who work with people in severe distress.

Talking about problems can offer a feeling of relief. Talking, whatever that be, one-to-one or more socially with friends and family can help us to relax which will instinctively make us feel better. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger rather than to relatives or friends about worries or health concerns. For that reason, on occasions, speaking to a counsellor can be really beneficial.  Being able to talk, cry, shout or just think is valuable. It’s an opportunity to look at your problems with someone else from a different perspective and try to find your solutions, relieve stress, anxiety and frustration.

Life can throw us curveballs. Yet even when things seem tough, there’s a lot we can do to look after ourselves and others. That’s why many organisations out there offer practical and emotional advice and support to help men cope and live happier, healthier, longer lives – no matter what life throws at us.

Contact these organisations if you need support or want to learn more about men’s mental health.

You may also like to look at the link below for a selection of videos from ManUp dealing with various mental health issues that men may face:

What if I’m worried about someone else’s mental health? How can I help them?

If you’re concerned about a friend or relative, there are things you can do to help them.

The first step is spotting the signs.

If someone you know is avoiding social situations, disappearing from social media, or showing signs of frustration, it could mean they’re facing mental health challenges.

Show your support by reaching out to them and expressing concern. Have a private conversation, empathize with their feelings, and encourage them to seek professional help if needed. Remember to listen without judgment and continue to offer support afterward. Your intervention may make a difference in their journey to healing.

The conversations might not come easily, but Movember offers a useful guide – ALEC.

Someone who is experiencing mental health problems may find it hard to reach out, so try to keep in touch. A text message or a phone call could make a big difference.

Find out about local services such as talking therapy or support groups. See if there are any specifically for men if you think they’d prefer that. Hub of Hope offers local, national, community, charity, private and NHS mental health support and services.

Assist them in seeking support by encouraging them to ask for help and assuring them that it is completely acceptable. Let them know that there are resources available to assist them. If they need assistance, offer to help them reach out to their General Practitioner or offer to accompany them to their appointment, if they desire.

Take care of yourself. Looking after someone else can be hard, so make sure you consider your wellbeing too.

CALM has a helpful webpage about what to do if you’re worried someone might be suicidal, including warning signs, what to say and what to do next. Click HERE to take a look.

Please see below for a selection of websites who can help you in spotting the warning signs or helping another with their mental health.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is cancer that starts in the prostate gland. The prostate gland is found at the base of the bladder. It is about the size of a walnut and is part of the male reproductive system.

It is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with 40,000 new cases and 9,000 deaths recorded in England every year. Some trans women and non-binary people (who are born male) can also get prostate cancer.

Research shows that the sexual side effects from prostate cancer treatment are the most painful and most common; yet less than half of men experiencing issues are directed to clear, practical and helpful resources.

When it comes to prostate cancer, early detection is key. For men, even if it feels far from your radar, it’s important to know that factors such your age and family history of prostate cancer can put you at higher risk of developing the disease.

Your risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, but that doesn’t mean it’s a disease that only affects old men. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Men who are Black or of Caribbean descent, and men who have a family history (a brother or father with prostate cancer), are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer.

A study by Public Health England published in 2015 showed that one in four Black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and one in twelve Black men will die from the disease – figures double that of other men.

Hence Embarrassed, a highly impactful short film was created by Sir Steve McQueen and starring four prominent award-winning Black actors to raise awareness of prostate cancer in the Black community. Embarrassed aims to dispel the myths and stigma around prostate cancer, encouraging Black men to ask their doctors for a PSA blood test while also spreading the message between family and friends: prostate cancer is curable if caught and treated in the very early stages.

To watch this film please click on the link below:

Detecting prostate cancer

Prostate cancer does not usually cause symptoms in the early stages. Most prostate cancers start in the outer part of the prostate gland. This means that to cause symptoms, the cancer needs to be big enough to press on the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis.

If prostate cancer has already spread to other parts of the body (advanced or metastatic prostate cancer), it can cause symptoms such as:

  • Back or bone pain that doesn’t go away with rest.
  • Tiredness.
  • Weight loss for no reason.
  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night.
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine.
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
  • Painful or burning urination.
  • Difficulty in having an erection.
  • Painful ejaculation.
  • Blood in urine or semen.
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.

For more information on the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer please check out the leaflet below generated by Cancer Research UK:

Not everyone with prostate cancer has symptoms, so regular screening should be a part of your annual health check from the age of 40.

If you have concerns, please book an appointment to visit your GP. They can do some tests to help them decide whether you need a referral to a specialist. The tests your GP might arrange include:

  • An examination of your prostate gland (digital rectal examination)
  • A prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test

The PSA test measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA it’s a protein made by both normal and cancerous prostate cells.

For a great leaflet from Cancer Research UK and Prostate Cancer UK that explains the PSA test, things that can raise it and when to speak to a GP please click on the link below.

Or you can read more about that and other tests on the Prostate Cancer UK website HERE.

It’s normal for all men to have some PSA in their blood. But a PSA level higher than what would be expected for someone of your age can be a sign of prostate cancer.

For most men, a normal PSA level is reassuring, however if you have symptoms of Prostate Cancer it is important to follow this up with your GP, even if your PSA is normal. This is because a normal PSA cannot fully rule out Prostate Cancer in a symptomatic man.

Please be aware that if you are over 40 and worried you don’t need to speak to your GP first to arrange a PSA blood test. All you need to do is request a PSA Blood test form from one of the reception staff.

If you’re 40 years old, or you know someone edging towards that age group, we highly recommend arranging a PSA test.

Prostate Cancer UK’s 30-second risk checker will ask you a few questions, determine your risk, and, if it’s high, point you in the right direction. Click on the link below to check your prostate risk in 30 seconds.

Prostate cancer, one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, is very treatable if caught early, so it’s vitally important that it is found quickly before the cancer spreads. Research suggests treatment at stages 1 and 2 has a near 100% survival rate compared to around 50% at stage 4.

For more information and sites dedicated to help and support please visit the links below:

If you are interested in supporting the fight against prostate cancer, why not check out “March the Month” which is a virtual step challenge for anyone who wants to keep active and help beat prostate cancer. Join thousands of people, across the nation, committing themselves to walk or wheel 11,000 steps a day throughout the month. It’s free to sign up and take part and is a challenge everyone can get involved in.

Testicular Cancer

Every year in the UK, there are 2,400 new cases of testicular cancer. That’s six every day of the week. And cases have increased by 27% since the 1990s.

Testicular cancer is when abnormal cells in a testicle start to divide and grow in an uncontrolled way.

The testicles are part of the male reproductive systems and are made up of different types of cells. The type of cancer you have depends on the type of cell the cancer starts in.

Most testicular cancers develop in germ cells. These are the cells that make sperm.

Although still rare compared to other cancers, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged between 15-45 years with around 2,200-2,300 men being diagnosed each year. It is more common in Caucasian males.

If found at an early stage a cure rate of 98% is usually possible and even when testicular cancer has spread to other areas of the body a cure can still be achieved. In fact, according to recent research overall 96% of men diagnosed with any stage testicular cancer will be alive 10 years after treatment.

Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves or their partner, very few are found by a physician. This is why it’s important to be aware of what feels normal for you. By doing the monthly testicular self-exams, you should become familiar with your testicles thus making it easier to notice any changes. Get to know your body and see your GP if you notice any changes. Self-checking could save your life!

To read more about the look and feel of normal testicles, the symptoms of testicular cancer and diagnosing testicular cancer please click on the link below.

For a guide to checking yourself please click HERE to view a leaflet from the Oddballs Foundation.

Or if you would prefer to watch a video, please take a look at this one below from the Movember organisation.


The earliest warning signs of testicular cancer usually include the following:

  • A change in size or shape of a testicle.
  • Swelling or thickening of a testicle.
  • A firm, smooth, initially painless, slow-growing lump or hardness in a testicle.
  • A feeling of testicular heaviness.

If you find something different or unusual, ask to see your GP. Testicular lumps are covered by the NHS ‘2-week wait’ policy, meaning you will be seen by a specialist within two weeks.

Even if you’re worried about what the symptom might be, don’t delay seeing them. Your worry is unlikely to go away if you don’t make an appointment. The symptom might not be due to cancer. But if it is, the earlier it’s picked up the higher the chance of successful treatment. You won’t be wasting your doctor’s time.

Try not to be embarrassed. What you tell your GP is confidential. Doctors are used to discussing intimate problems and will try to put you at ease.

For more information on testicular cancer and for organisations dedicated to help and support please explore the following websites: