South African women urged to lend support to Movember

14 November 2017 - 15:59 By Suthentira Govender
Women are being urged to support Movember this year.
Women are being urged to support Movember this year.
Image: 123rf/ Dean Drobot

South African women are being urged to support the Movember campaign in a bid to save more men from suicide‚ cancer and mental health issues.

The Men’s Foundation – which runs Movember in South Africa‚ an annual event involving the growing of moustaches to raise awareness about men’s health issues – says the campaign is not only about men.

“It might seem that Movember is all about the guys‚ but each year women play an integral part in pulling it all together – from encouraging the men in their life to get tested‚ to making sure they take action early‚” said Garron Gsell‚ originator of the Men’s Foundation.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in South African men‚ with more than 4‚000 men diagnosed annually. When detected early‚ prostate-cancer survival rates are better than 98%.

“It is never easy for men to talk about problems ‘down there’ but when my dad told me about his diagnosis‚ I was determined to be there for him‚” said Cindy Fox‚ who helped her father through his prostate-cancer battle.

“If men don’t stop being macho‚ the journey is so much more difficult. Even when the cancer is caught early and the prognosis is good‚ they can easily become depressed and even suicidal if they are not prepared to accept a shoulder to lean on.”

According to Movember‚ men around the world die an average of six years younger than women.

The cancer statistics globally show: • 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer • 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men aged 15-29 • 3 out of 4 suicides are men • More than 500‚000 men take their own lives every year. That’s one every minute.

“When we look at these stats‚ it becomes so clear that there is a men’s health crisis‚” said Owen Sharp‚ CEO of the Movember Foundation.

“There is a lot that needs to be done‚ but by talking about it‚ by encouraging our friends to take action for their health and supporting them‚ we can help keep the men we love around to live happier‚ healthier‚ longer lives. They don’t have to miss out on those key moments that matter most.”