Movember- Raising Awareness Around Critical Illnesses

Movember: Raising Awareness Around Critical Illnesses

It’s November! Or to put it more accurately, Movember. What is Movember about exactly? A global movement focused on making a difference in mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer – Movember is also largely marked by a month of men growing out their moustaches in solidarity of the goals. Movember is a portmanteau of the Australian-English word diminutive for moustache -”mo” and “November”. Ever since its inception in 2003, more than 1,200 projects have been funded and a global community of 5 million people has developed. 

Why is Movember significant? It has a lot of play around the long-standing societal conditions that make it difficult for men to openly discuss, seek help and support for both physical and mental health diseases and issues. 

In a fight for equality, it becomes pertinent that we raise awareness around these issues and help move the needle forward when it comes to men’s health. With a disruptive approach to fundraising and awareness, there is better incentive for men to take action for their health. According to Jonathon Waxman, founder of The Prostate Cancer Charity, men have far less interaction with the medical profession than women do (as they go through processes like childbirth) and are consequently more likely to ignore nagging pains, signs and symptoms until they no longer can. 

As leading health insurance brokers, we feel that adequate health insurance planning – a part of long-term well-being and wellness – is at the forefront of staying healthy, practising good habits and living well. Awareness presents opportunities for planning and acquiring preventative measures such as health cover (expats and locals alike) among other things like eating well and going for check-ups regularly. 

What sort of men’s health issues are we talking about? 

What sort of men’s health issues are at play during Movember? The four key areas brought to light are prostate cancer, testicular cancer, physical inactivity and poor mental health. 

Understanding critical illnesses

Of the four, prostate and testicular cancer are the two critical illnesses that affect men globally with a steadily increasing prevalence over the years. As only about 1 in 250 males will develop testicular cancer and the risk of dying from it is low, greater awareness, prevention and care around this can greatly reduce the risks of males suffering from it. 

Prostate cancer, on the other hand, is the 3rd most common cancer diagnosed in males in Singapore – accounting for 12% of all male cancers from 2008 to 2018. However, early detection plays an important role here in reducing the risks of the cancer spreading as tumours are slow growing and highly treatable

About Testicular Cancer

Causes and risks  Family history, HIV infection, body size and an undescended testicle. 
Signs and symptoms Lump on testicle, swelling and breast soreness. Low back pain, belly pain and headaches can result from later stages of testicular cancer. 

About Prostate Cancer

Causes and risks  Inherited gene mutations, acquired gene mutations, age and family history. 
Signs and symptoms Problems urinating, blood in urine or semen, pain in the hips and erectile dysfunction. 

Aside from critical illnesses, safeguarding mental health and well-being comes up as a priority in Movember as well. Oftentimes, the lack of discussion around health issues amongst males only encourages and contributes to a culture of zero communication – which is also a precursor to declining mental health. Without talking to other male friends and doctors, it can be an uphill battle to keep your mind and body in the pink of health. 

How can men stay healthy? 

A staggering 3.2 million deaths yearly are attributable to physical inactivity. Staying healthy can be easily done by encouraging some level of exercise and movement daily. Exercising regularly has far-reaching benefits. Not only does it lower the risk of death from prolonged periods of physical inactivity but it also lowers the chances of falling ill from other diseases and helps improve your social connection to other people. 

Find out how a healthy diet can keep you in the pink of health here

Keeping regular contact with other male friends can be therapeutic for men in the long run. With close contacts of the same gender, there can be healthier conversations around physical and mental well-being. Men and women face a different set of challenges when it comes to health and well-being. Finally, healthy relationships also play a crucial role in suicide prevention. Humans are social creatures. Talking to friends, exercising and engaging in social activities can have a positive effect on long-term health. 

Using critical illness insurance to protect your long-term health & wellness

Insurance planning, like many other things, requires adequate planning. Despite the robust healthcare system here in Singapore, medical bills for chronic and critical illnesses can run high. Both expats and locals are recommended to purchase general health cover and critical illness insurance for their health and financial safety. 

It is recommended that you purchase insurance at a young age so that you are safely covered for any unforeseen circumstances that arise as you age. With the high probabilities of cancer and critical illnesses among men, health insurance goes a long way in saving the racking up of medical costs should anything happen. 

What are the different types of expat health cover plans in Singapore? Learn more here

Staying healthy with Expat Insurance

There’s no need to go for health covers that don’t necessarily fit your needs or lifestyle. However, we do recommend a basic medical plan that will offset high hospital bills in the future. Likewise, it is certainly the unpredictability of diseases and critical illnesses that make insurance plans a safe-to-have. To find out how we can help you with tailored expat health covers, get in touch with our team today

Join Movember and fight the good fight to improve men’s health and well-being.