Past the Privates – A Deeper Look into Mens Health
A recent article seen in the CBC brought an important issue to our attention, and we felt it is worth passing along! Increased awareness towards issues of concern affecting males under the scope of health is definitely something which will promote a positivity worth investing in. Read for yourself, and see the link provided below for the full article.
National Institute for Mens Health Proposed: Men’s health is about more than penises and prostates, according to a British Columbia doctor that is calling for the creation of a national institute on men’s health. Dr. Larry Goldenberg, a surgeon and researcher who co-founded the Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, will be making his pitch for the institute to other attendees of a two-day meeting beginning Tuesday near Ottawa. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research have organized the national conference that is bringing together health care and health policy experts from across the country.
“There’s really no identity for men’s health,” Goldenberg, head of the department of urologic sciences at VGH and the University of British Columbia, said in an interview. “When most people think of men’s health, they think of the penis and the prostate and we need to get beyond that and say, ‘there’s more to a man than a penis and a prostate.’ Not everybody agrees, but for most men there’s more than a penis and a prostate.
Goldenberg, who was awarded the Order of Canada in 2009, is behind the Men’s Health Initiative of British Columbia, a program that was launched in 2009 to address the health challenges that men face and to raise awareness about them.
Men have shorter life expectancies than women – about 4.4 years less – and heart disease, suicide and motor vehicle accidents are known to be three of the biggest factors contributing to the gap. Men have a higher risk of dying from heart disease, liver disease and diabetes, 80 per cent of spinal cord injuries are in men, and 70 per cent of developmental and learning disabilities affect boys, according to the B.C. Men’s Health Initiative.
Researchers like Goldenberg want to know more about the science of men’s health, the issues that affect them at different life stages and why health issues are often not on the radar for a lot of men, particularly young ones who are more inclined to take their car for
a check-up than themselves.
Movember campaign raising awareness
The Movember campaign, the moustache-growing fundraiser for prostate cancer that is held during the month of November and seems to be growing more popular every year, has been extremely effective in drawing attention to a men’s health issue, said Goldenberg.
“Movember is a brilliant marketing strategy,” he said. The campaign has been able to reach young men and it’s exactly the kind of technique that needs to be used for other health issues, he said.
His group in B.C. has been working on how to successfully communicate with young men and among their efforts are a series of comical videos posted online on a website called www.manupcanada.ca. They tell viewers that “real food doesn’t come from a vending machine” and that a strong heart equals “a stronger sex life.”
“Just putting a male lens on public health issues is good, but to me it isn’t quite what I think this country and what other countries need, and that’s a form of a network or an
institute that people can identify with,” he said.
“My goal is to make people aware of this initiative and what we need to do and it will run in parallel to what comes out of this national summit,” he said.