November is not only the month when days get shorter, but it’s also globally recognized for raising awareness about men-specific health prevention—the so-called Movember.
Every year in November, numerous men worldwide grow a mustache as part of this movement. The term “Movember” is a combination of the English words “moustache” and November. In 2003, Movember was initiated by a group of young men in Australia to draw attention to men’s health. The motto of Movember is “Changing the face of men’s health,” conveying the idea of transforming the perception of men’s health through changes in personal appearance. In the current year, Movember celebrates its 20th anniversary and has evolved into a globally significant movement.
Why is awareness for men's health necessary?
Men tend to undergo medical examinations less frequently and ignore health issues, leading to serious consequences.
Mental Health: An underestimated issue in men
According to the Statistical Federal Office, in 2021, a total of 9,215 people lost their lives to suicide in Germany, equivalent to more than 25 individuals per day. Notably, men chose this tragic path much more frequently than women, with approximately 75% of suicides committed by men. Men are less willing to discuss their mental challenges openly.*
Cancer Detection: Health promotion and preventive measures are underutilized by men
Results from a study by the Robert Koch Institute show that approximately 67.2% of women and 40.0% of men undergo regular cancer screening examinations. Specific evaluations from individual health insurance companies in Germany reveal a greater disparity. According to a 2019 analysis, only twelve percent of men have undergone early detection screening for prostate cancer, totaling around 4.7 million men. In comparison, about 17 million women, roughly 40%, undergo examinations for breast and cervical cancer.
Movember provides an opportunity to break the stigma associated with men’s mental health and raise awareness about cancer detection. This involves intensified awareness campaigns and promoting open dialogue.
An example of such an awareness campaign is the prevention program of our longstanding partner AXA, a private health insurance provider advocating for cancer prevention. Private health insurance not only takes responsibility for treatment in case of illness but also for health prevention. AXA has been actively informing customers for many years about cancer screening offerings, specifically targeting men who often do not visit the doctor regularly. AXA actively reminds them because early cancer detection can save lives.
*If you are depressed yourself, if suicidal thoughts are troubling you, please contact the telephone counselling service on the Internet (www.telefonseelsorge.de) or via the toll-free hotlines 0800/111 0 111 or 0800/111 0 222. The German Depression Helpline can be reached during weekdays at 0800 / 33 44 533.