Have you noticed on social networks that some men grow a mustache during the month of November? Far from being a hair technique to protect yourself from the cold, it’s a sign of support for international Movember action (twitching, you guessed it, mustache and November) to highlight a public health issue.
The observation is simple: in a world still governed by gender stereotypes, men are inclined to neglect their physical and mental health and are less alerted by physiological dysfunctions. However, they are not spared the onset of a pathology or severe depression, even at a young age.
If breast cancer prevention and screening are now part of the health reflexes that women must acquire, have you ever heard of testicular self-examination techniques in the public space to detect a lump that could turn out to be of concern?
In collaboration with the exhibition Cancerpresented from 6 September 2022 to 8 August 2023 at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie in Paris, here are some important points to remember to close this month of Movember 2022.
Risk, question of virility?
From infancy, little boys are encouraged to engage in risky behavior and ignore pain. Whether it’s crying after a bad fall on a bicycle or jumping off the big trampoline despite parental prohibitions, many gender sociologists such as Sylvie Ayral in her reference book The boys factory (PUF, 2011) have shown that young people learn to ignore the fragility of their bodies.
A real conditioning to virility that can drastically reduce their life expectancy. As adults, men are three times more likely to die in a car accident than women. Man at the wheel, danger in curves!
And when it comes to their mental health, the figures are more alarming: suicide is the second leading cause of death among men aged 15 to 29, while the majority of French people who consult mental health specialists are women.
take care of you
In this context the treatmentthat is, all the practices that allow one to take care of oneself or of others become the prerogative of femininity and the medical mental load is often borne by women in heterosexual couples.
It is to put an end to these harmful clichés that actions like Movember are reaching out to the general public on social networks.
Reconsidering the care of one’s body or one’s mental state also means working to improve one’s relationships with others and coexistence. A beneficial action for the whole of society, in short.
Familiarize yourself with projections
Again in this same context, French men are not sufficiently aware of the challenges of so-called male cancers.
The leading cause of cancer death in men is prostate cancer. With 50,430 new cases annually, prostate cancer accounts for 25% of cancer cases, ahead of lung cancer (32,500 cases) and colorectal cancer (24,000 cases). Screening by digital rectal exam or colonoscopy remains, in many ways, an unrecognized, even derided, experience when brought up in conversation.
Much less known, testicular cancer constitutes, with 2,700 new cases per year, 1% to 2% of cases and mainly affects young adults (15-35 years). And do you know what a bilateral scrotal ultrasound is? In the same way as mammography, however, it is a question of detecting the possible appearance of a tumor in the genitals.
The exhibition Cancer of the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie makes it possible to overcome the taboo and fear surrounding cancer and which prevent many cases from being discovered in time.
Understanding how a malignant tumor is formed, knowing which behaviors in terms of nutrition or sport can help prevent the disease or even reflecting on the role of endocrine disruptors and industrial pollution on our health are and will be part of tomorrow’s major topics. .
This exhibition also makes it possible to better help a dear patient to understand the ontological upheaval linked to the onset of the disease and the various treatments and protocols experimented with to combat this real scourge of the industrial age.
So whatever your gender expression, overcome your fears and learn to face cancer. Simple reflexes or even a mustache sported during Movember can save lives!
Photo credit: N. Breton – EPPDCSI