26 October 2022

This Might Tickle

Movember is here again to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate and testicular cancer and suicide. From handlebar moustaches to walruses, brave men worldwide pick their style and grow a moustache each November in support of this important annual event. While some may resemble the Mario Brothers more than Tom Sellick, it's all done with the best intentions.

The idea for Movember was conceived by two mates who had met for a quiet beer in Melbourne, Australia. In 2003 they found 30 guys willing to accept the challenge of growing a moustache for a month. From those humble beginnings, the Movember movement has grown to be truly global, inspiring over 6 million Mo Bros and Mo Sisters worldwide to get involved. [1] Whilst it might sound like some silly fun and a good way to keep your lip warm during winter, Movember supports some very serious issues regarding men’s health.

Statistics show that men are more likely to die prematurely. In England and Wales, in 2020, 61% of all deaths under 65 years were male compared to 39% of women [2].

However, when men engage with the medical professions early, they can benefit from early intervention and successful treatment of common health issues.

Cancers that only affect men

Unfortunately, the number of men getting cancer is rising. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no symptoms until the Prostate has become large enough to affect urination. This causes an increased need to pee and a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied [3].

Testicular cancer is one of the less common cancers accounting for 1% of all cancers in men [4]. Luckily, it is one of the most treatable cancers, with nearly all men surviving as long as the cancer is diagnosed early. If you notice any changes in your testicles, it's essential to get checked out by a doctor.

Men need to acknowledge when they're struggling

Unfortunately, men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women [2]. Men are expected to be strong and in control, leading to them not seeking help when they need it. Mental health issues can affect anyone; seeking help is not a sign of weakness.

How ECIS can help

The ECIS Private Medical Insurance (PMI) scheme includes additional services beyond access to just hospital treatment. Whether it's concerns over cancer, mental health or muscle, bone and joint conditions, ECIS PMI scheme members can call Bupa's Direct Access Service, who will triage the member and provide an onward referral if necessary.

In addition, the Employee Assistance Programme is a free, confidential telephone service that supports your employees with issues impacting their mental well-being.

If you are thinking of a PMI policy for your employees or would like ECIS to review your current arrangement, speak to the ECIS team on 0330 221 0241, at ecis@ecins.co.uk.

[1] https://uk.movember.com/about/foundation
[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsregisteredinenglandandwalesseriesdrreferencetables
[3] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/
[4] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/testicular-cancer/