No-Shave November: Promoting Men’s Health & Raising Prostate Cancer Awareness


No-Shave November or Movember is an annual event where men grow facial hair to raise awareness about men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer. It originated in Australia in 2003 and has now become a global campaign. Participants are encouraged to have conversations about the importance of regular check-ups, early detection, and minimizing risk. In addition to growing facial hair, individuals are also encouraged to donate the money they would usually spend on grooming products to charities that support these causes.  In this article, we’ll discuss prostate cancer prevention and provide five key tips for men to reduce their risk of this common cancer.

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Prostate Cancer: A Growing Concern
Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in men. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. It is essential to recognize that early detection and preventive measures can significantly impact the outcome of prostate cancer[1]. The following five tips are vital for men to reduce their risk and promote prostate health:

1. Regular Screening
Regular screening is a cornerstone of prostate cancer prevention. Men should start discussing screening options with their healthcare providers, usually beginning at age 50, or even earlier if they have risk factors such as a family history of the disease. The two primary screening methods are the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). Both methods are used in combination to detect prostate cancer in its early stages[2].

2. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Diet plays a significant role in prostate cancer prevention. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly those with antioxidants and phytochemicals, can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Foods like tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage), and fatty fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) are associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer. Reducing the intake of red meat and saturated fats is also advisable[1].

3. Stay Physically Active
Regular physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Engaging in moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or swimming, for at least 150 minutes per week can contribute to overall health and may lower the risk of developing prostate cancer[3].

4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer, particularly more aggressive forms of the disease. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce this risk. Obesity is also associated with a higher risk of cancer recurrence and poorer outcomes among those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer[4].

5. Reduce Stress and Prioritize Mental Health
Stress and mental health are often overlooked factors in prostate cancer prevention. Chronic stress can have a detrimental impact on overall health and may contribute to the progression of cancer. Engaging in stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation, mindfulness, or spending time with loved ones, can be beneficial for both mental and physical well-being[5].

Final takeaway
No-Shave November is a fun and engaging way to raise awareness about men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer. Encouraging men to grow facial hair during November, sparks conversations about the significance of regular check-ups, early detection, and risk reduction. Prostate cancer is a common concern among men, but with proper screening, a healthy diet, regular physical activity, weight management, and stress reduction, the risk can be significantly reduced.

(The article is reviewed by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor)

1. American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer. Published online 2022.
2. Jain. M.A, et al. Prostate Cancer Screening.StatPearls [Internet].Updated online  April 23, 2023.
3. Kenfield, S. A., et al. Physical activity and survival after prostate cancer diagnosis in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Published online Feb 20, 2011.,substantially%20improve%20PCa%2Dspecific%20survival.
4. Amling, C. L., et al.Pathologic variables and recurrence rates as related to obesity and race in men with prostate cancer undergoing radical prostatectomy. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Published online Dec 22, 2023.
5. Lutgendorf, S. K., et al. Host factors and cancer progression: biobehavioral signaling pathways and interventions. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Published online July 19th, 2010.

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