Dr Nick Tupper blog: Supporting Movember

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Imperial?  Handlebar? Toothbrush? Pencil? What’s your choice?

It’s the second week of Movember and things are starting to get hairy across Doncaster as an array of different moustache styles start to sprout above top lips from Mexborough to Thorne.

It’s not a spelling mistake – the penultimate month of the year is now associated with the growth of all manner of stylish moustaches to raise awareness of men’s health.

It’s turning out to be a very clever way of getting men to think about healthy lifestyles, capturing their imagination in a way that, arguably, other men’s health campaigns haven’t.

That’s true at NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) where our hardy group of ‘Mo Bros’ have this year been joined by some supportive ‘ Mo Sistas’, who are joining in the fun this year for the first time. They won’t be growing moustaches but will be taking part in MOVE, a new initiative which encourages people to get physically active whilst fundraising. The challenge is to move on every day in Movember.

Movember was established 12 years ago by a group of friends over a beer in a pub in Melbourne, Australia. Their aim was simple: to create a campaign promoting the growth of the moustache amongst like-mined people and to have a laugh along the way. Underpinning it all is the ambition to change the face of men’s health, one Dali, Chevron or Fu Manchu at a time.

Since Movember started, more than five million people have got involved by either cultivating a moustache themselves or sponsoring someone else to grow one. More than £400 million has been raised and over 1,000 men’s health projects have been funded.

I know from my working role as a local GP that Doncaster men can be a tricky group to engage with when it comes to looking after their health. They often put off seeing their GP about, such as, a lingering cough or passing blood until, sadly, it’s too late for treatment.

That’s why we’re trying to take health messages out to local men in the places where they socialise, including working with Club Doncaster – the community arm of the Rovers – to target football supporters through our recent Keepmoat stadium based campaigns.

This is one of many different approaches we’re using to try and speed up the detection rates of lung, bowel and prostate cancers, because we know that Doncaster men are lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to finding and treating these three in particular as soon as possible.

I’m supportive of anything that helps Doncaster men keep a regular check on their health and encourages them to see their GP if they see or feel something that doesn’t seem right. So a big thumbs-up to Movember.

If you want to support our Mo Bros and Mo Sistas by sponsoring them, please visit:  https://moteam.co/doncaster-ccg

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