News • 06 Nov 2019

Make Movember your month for healthcare

Movember is all about focusing on men’s health and stopping men from dying young from cancer, mental illness, and suicide . Here’s how men can make Movember their month for healthcare.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), males usually experience poorer health outcomes compared to females.

In 2016, males had nearly twice the rate of death from heart disease and lung cancer compared to females.

Compared to women, men in Australia see their GP less often, and when they do see a health professional, it’s generally for shorter consultations and often when an illness is more advanced.

Movember looks at health through a male lens, focusing on prevention, early intervention and health promotion.

With the Health Hub Morayfield being home to a network of health professionals, everyone works together to improve the health of men and women in the local community.

We spoke to these providers to find out their best recommendations for how men can make Movember their month for healthcare.

Mental Health and suicide prevention

In Australia, Suicide is the leading cause of death for males aged between 18 and 44 years old.

75% of suicides in Australia are men.

Globally, every minute of every day, a man dies by suicide.

Micah Bernoff, Psychologist with the Open Minds Mental Health Hub at Morayfield said: “Statistically more women see psychologists than men, which is reflected in a noticeable difference in the willingness and comfort of men to explore their own wellbeing.

“Our goal as psychologists is to normalise the experience of our clients and to encourage people to gain more insight on their well-being and how they can improve it.

“Movember really helps encourage men to engage and gives more equity in mental health.

“I generally ask that people look at their overall balance in life. What that balance could entail is family, friends, partners, work, hobbies, and physical and mental health. 

“For example, if they’re watching Netflix too much and not focusing on family then there’s cause for concern.”

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia.

Early detection is key, because when picked up early, survival rates are better than 98%, but if found late, survival rates are below 26%.

The chances of developing prostate cancer increase with age, which is why all men are advised to go to their doctor for a test when they reach age 50.

Pathologists diagnose all types of cancer, including prostate cancer, and are involved in the diagnosis and monitoring of all acute and chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, blood disorders and infections.

A spokesperson at QML Pathology Morayfield said: “Pathology is behind the scenes of every doctor visit, providing the detailed test results used by GPs and specialists to care for patients.

“There can be a tendency to overemphasise women’s health in everyday practice but Movember helps to restore balance in the health sector.

“We recommended that men over the age of 40 should ensure they get yearly health checks from their GPs.”

Factors that can increase the risk of developing cancer include poor diet, being inactive, and being overweight.

According to the American Cancer Society, excess weight causes the body to produce and circulate more estrogen and insulin, hormones that can stimulate cancer growth.

Daniel Shyhun, Dietitian at the Blue Care Live Well Centre, said: “Figures indicate that a greater proportion of men are obese compared to women and that they also experience a greater burden of heart disease and cancer.

“Discussions with a dietitian could improve health literacy and knowledge and provide strategies so that men can eat more disease preventing healthy foods.”

Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer in Australian men aged 18 to 39.

The risk for men of being diagnosed with this form of cancer by age 85 is 1 in 189. 

The rate of men diagnosed with testicular cancer has grown by over 50% in the past 30 years.

Starting as an abnormal growth or tumour, testicular cancer can develops in one or both testicles. 

In some instances, testicular cancer can cause no symptoms. However the most common symptom is a painless swelling or a lump in a testicle.

Jim Aspinwall, Managing Director at X-Ray & Imaging at the Health Hub Morayfield, said: “I’d advise men checking for lumps regularly, too many men don’t prioritise their health and well-being.

“We make X-Ray and Imaging more accessible by providing a 100% bulk billed service, no fees means no excuses!

“At the end of the day you can’t rely on anyone but yourself to get your health back on track and get checked.”

About the Health Hub Morayfield providers

Open Minds Mental Health Hub

The Open Minds Mental Health Hub provides confidential counselling and psychological services for people of all ages, including children. With a team of 12 allied mental health professionals, the centre supports people who are experiencing depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Find out more or book an appointment here.

QML Pathology

QML Pathology has 24 laboratories and over 635 collection centres located throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales, with 32 specialist pathologists and over 2,000 staff. Find out more or book an appointment here.

X-Ray & Imaging Morayfield

X-Ray & Imaging Morayfield is a comprehensive Medical Imaging centre catering for all imaging needs from CT scanning to Nuclear Medicine. Find out more or book an appointment here.

Blue Care Live Well Centre

The Blue Care live Well Centre is a multi-specialist community wellness centre that provides personalised allied health or rehabilitation support, including dietitians, nutritionists, exercise physiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech therapy and more. Find out more or book an appointment here. 

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