Dear reader, today I want to chat with you, from man to man. When was the last time you went to the doctor ? Have you been exercising? Eat healthy? If you said no to any of these questions, then we need to talk.
Many of us men are created to be strong people . And this concept of being strong within our society makes us believe that taking care of ourselves is not important. An idea that distances us from self-care and brings us countless losses.
Men tend to live less than women. The diseases that affect men are diagnosed in advanced stages and make the cure more difficult. Other times, the idea of ”strong man” makes us resist exams and treatments. One is the digital rectal exam that can accurately diagnose prostate cancer. Then, you must be there on the other side, thoughtful: “Zé, what does this have to do with self-care and everything?”. In order for us to continue our conversation, I need to tell you a story: the emergence of Blue November.
The origin of the Blue November
This worldwide campaign started in a very unpretentious way in Australia. A group of friends got together to do an action to raise awareness of men’s health. They let their mustaches grow and moved to collect money that was donated to some charities. November was the month chosen for this campaign because on the 17th it is the World Day to Combat Prostate Cancer.
The campaign was so successful that it spread across Australia. In 2004, an institution was created to promote actions that raise awareness among men about their own health care: the Movember Foundation Charity. The name came from the fusion of two words in English – Mustache (mustache) and November (November) – and the goal was to talk about the prevention of prostate cancer and depression; these diseases victimize many men worldwide, both due to late diagnosis. The wives of the participants of these actions promoted by the Movember Foundation Charity wore blue mustaches, to demonstrate their support. MFC promotes actions to create funds for other institutions that contribute to men’s health.
The campaign here in Brazil is called the Blue November, but in several countries it has other names: Movember and No Shave November (November without shaving). Given the great success of the campaign in other countries This campaign arrived in Brazil through the Brazilian Society of Urology.
As in Brazil, several institutions, NGOs, celebrities and opinion makers support the Blue November so that more men understand the importance of taking care of and preventing prostate cancer.
Some data on prostate cancer in Brazil
Prostate cancer usually acts silently and when it has symptoms, it is usually at an advanced stage. This characteristic combined with the lack of care for men results in a sad statistic: 95% of cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed at very advanced stages, according to the National Cancer Institute – INCA.
Another worrying fact: about 60 thousand Brazilians are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. There are some taboos that make it slow for patients to seek medical help. One is to believe that prostate cancer is a disease of elderly men. The incidence of this disease is higher among men aged 65 to 70 years, but that does not mean that younger men do not need to take care of themselves. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in cases of prostate cancer among men aged 40 to 45 years. In Brazil, 1 in 7 men have prostate cancer.
It is also important to say that this is the sixth most common type of cancer on the planet. In Brazil, every 7 minutes, a man is diagnosed with this disease. Faced with so many numbers, the question remains: what to do to prevent this disease?
Diagnosis and healthy habits are the best alternatives
My dear reader, we need to be more careful with our health and well-being so that we do not fall victim to diseases such as prostate cancer. It is a process that involves facing our fears, overcoming our limiting beliefs and becoming a new man: who takes care and loves himself!
It is important to remember that taking care of yourself also means taking care of those we love. It is ensuring that we are close to our children, our family, friends in joyful moments and also in moments of overcoming. I say this as a son, father, husband and worker, who, like you, still falls at times in the sad idea of the strong man. To help you in this process, I have separated some tips so that together, we can be healthier and happier:
1- Don’t be afraid and resistant to ask for help
This is a major obstacle in men’s lives: recognizing and asking for help when you are not well. It is not wrong to recognize that you need to go to the doctor, that you need to rest and receive care. Do not resist medical consultations and possible treatments. Taking care of yourself is important and necessary. Don’t put self-care in the background.
2- Pay attention to your body’s signals
The body constantly speaks and signals to show us how it is. It is essential that you are aware of what your body tells you. Have you been to the bathroom many times a day? Are you more willing? Do you feel tired often? Are you in pain? Are you urinating normally? Diseases like prostate cancer act in a very subtle way and often, the smallest of signs can be something to be investigated. When prostate cancer has symptoms it means that it is at a very advanced stage. The main symptoms of prostate cancer are:
- Weak urinary flow
- Urinary incontinence
- Excessive urge to urinate at night
- Difficulties to urinate
3 – Don’t get carried away by taboos and prejudices
There are many taboos about disease. Prostate cancer is no different and these (taboos) are primarily responsible for the late diagnosis of this and other diseases. Out of shame and prejudice, many men refuse to have a digital rectal exam – which is the safest test to identify possible prostate tumors. Don’t let prejudices be greater than your health. Take the exams and remember that prevention is better than cure.
To be successful you need to be in balance with yourself.
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4 – Practice physical exercises and eat well
This is the perfect combination for all situations: physical exercises + healthy eating. Look for a professional (physical educators, nutritionists, for example) and look for the exercise that best suits your needs. Try to eat in a balanced and healthy way. This contributes to disease prevention and makes you more willing to enjoy the best that life has for you.
I hope, my dear reader, that this simple article will contribute positively so that you take better care of yourself. May this Blue November, you can overcome your limiting beliefs and awaken your infinite power. “I love myself and take care of myself”, may this be his new motto in life.