It's that time of year again, Movember, when it is acceptable for men to sprout moustaches. The facial hair crusade is not limited to hipsters and Santa Claus wannabes, but open to anyone who can grow a bit of fluff on their upper-lip.
However it's not just another testosterone-driven competition – the Movember Foundation is committed to raising awareness and funds for men's health. The foundation focuses on the less talked-about, sometimes uncomfortable topics of men's health and wellbeing, like prostate and testicular cancer, as well as mental health.
Similarly, bowel cancer is often forgotten despite it being the second most common cancer in Australia affecting both men and women.
In 2010, 14,860 new cases of bowel cancer were diagnosed in Australia. The risk of being diagnosed by age 85 is 1 in 10 for men and 1 in 15 for women.
Screening for bowel cancer is available and uses a non-invasive test for blood in the faeces; as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, open to Australians who turn 50, 55, 60 or 65 years of age.
The risk of bowel cancer can be reduced by not smoking, eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and maintaining a healthy body weight.
More than 13,000 cancer deaths in both men and women in Australia each year can also be attributed to unhealthy lifestyle habits such as sun exposure, alcohol, poor diet, inadequate exercise or being overweight.
But the good news is there is something you can do to reduce your cancer risk – whether you can grow a moustache or not!
Take simple steps to lead a healthier lifestyle such as getting checked regularly by your GP and being physically active to maintain a healthy weight.
It is also recommended that you limit your alcohol intake and eat a balanced diet.
Quitting smoking is another thing you can do for your health – it has immediate and long-term benefits for people of all ages.
And last but not least, slip on covering clothing, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat in the sun, seek shade and slid one some sunglasses.
For more information on how to reduce your cancer risk, visit http://www.cutyourcancerrisk.org.au/how-to-cut-cancer-risk
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