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Movember is here—Why I’m Trying to Change the Face of Men’s Health

October 30, 2014

In November, you will be less likely to recognize me—I’ll be growing a moustache!

Now, you may ask yourself, “Why the heck would a handsome devil like Dr. Brahmbhatt grow a lip sweater?”

The answer is simple. I’m doing it because I care about the status of men’s health. And the good news is, thousands of men all over the world will be joining me! It is, after all, Movember.

What the heck is Movember?

Every November you see men (also known as “Mo Bros”) everywhere grow their moustaches to promote men’s health. The initiative is called Movember (Moustache + November), and it is not just limited to men. Women join the movement as “Mo Sistas” and help as team leaders, recruiting Mo Bros, raising funds and awareness.

Movember started in Melbourne, Australia in 2003. Since then it has helped to change the face of men’s health in over 21 countries. Through the years, the campaign has raised over $550 million and supported over 800 men’s health programs focusing on three areas: prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.

Why am I participating?

Simply stated—I care about the status of men’s health. As a urologist, I can impact one person at a time in my office. However, from early on in my career, I realized I will need to make a bigger impact. We do this through our annual Drive 4 Men’s

Health, where cars and technology are used to start conversations with men about their health. During our weekly radio show, Two Docs & a Chick, we also try to educate the masses using sports-related injuries as a topic base.

So what’s wrong with men, anyway?

Let’s be straight with one thing—most men just don’t take care of themselves like they should.  Here are ten men’s health facts that you may not know to help you understand why we need to change the face of men’s health:
  1. Men are 24% less likely to go to the doctor compared to women.
  2. Half of all men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lives.
  3. Men on average die than five years earlier than women.
  4. 12.1% of men 18 years and over are in fair or poor health.
  5. 233,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually.
  6. About 8,820 new cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in men each year, and 380 men will die from the disease.
  7. Roughly 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, resulting in 400 deaths.
  8. Six million men are diagnosed with depression each year, and men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.
  9. Men who sit six or more hours per day have an 18% higher chance of dying from heart disease or diabetes.
  10. Twice as many men suffer from hearing loss as women.

Follow our Movember Robot Challenge

This year, we’ve entered into a friendly challenge with a friend and fellow urologist from Jacksonville, Dr. Ali Kasraeian. He and I will be battling for Movember supremacy with a moustache growing contest, and we’re getting it kicked off in grand fashion!

On Saturday, November 1 at the annual RAMSES (Robotic Assisted Microsurgical and Endoscopic Society) meeting, Dr. Sijo Parekattil will use robotic-assistance to shave the first stroke from my face, as well as Dr. Kasraeian’s. We will then continue the “shave off” as we start our Movember Robot Challenge with a clean slate.

How can you get involved?

Men’s health is an international movement, but involvement starts right here in your own back yard. You can help to change the face of men’s health by joining our MoTeam, donating or creating a team of your own. Together, we can make a significant impact and help to change the face of men’s health for the better!

For more information and health tips, follow Dr. Brambhatt on Twitter and Facebook