November is known for a few things, including fall leaves, Thanksgiving, and facial hair.

Movember, the clever combination of mustache and November, describes the annual month-long event in which men raise awareness for men’s health issues by not shaving their facial hair. The movement surrounds prostate and testicular cancer – two of the biggest men’s health issues.

In fact, according to the Movember Foundation, prostate cancer kills 35 men every hour while testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men under 40.

Although there is no specific way to prevent prostate or testicular cancer, here are some tips the Mayo Clinic suggests to help you reduce your risk of developing serious health issues and ultimately live a happier, healthier and longer life.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Try adding more exercise and reducing the number of calories you eat each day to lose excess pounds.  This may limit your risk of developing various types of cancer.  
  2. Eat a balanced diet.  Avoid a high-fat diet and focus on choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  3. Get active. Exercise more often. Remember, all physical activity benefits your overall health.
  4. Defeat bad habits.  Avoid smoking. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.  The risk of developing cancer increases with the amount of alcohol you consume. The Mayo Clinic suggests a maximum of two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger, and one drink a day for men older than 65.
  5. Relax and enjoy life. If you constantly feel stressed or under pressure, your immune system might suffer. Try to reduce stress in the workplace and at home and learn to cope with stress in healthy ways.
  6. Conduct pre-cancer screenings or self-examinations. 
    • Prostate cancer screening: Talk to your health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. 
    • Testicular cancer self-examination: Some health care providers recommend that all men conduct a testicular self-examination monthly after puberty. If you decide to conduct a self-exam, visit American Cancer Society’s "Do I Have Testicular Cancer?" If you find something unusual, contact your health care provider right away. 

Resources:

The Movember Foundation

Mayo Clinic – Men’s health: Prevent the top threats

American Cancer Society - Do I Have Testicular Cancer?