Thanksgiving is a day for traditions: America’s Thanksgiving Parade draws thousands of families to downtown Detroit to kick off the holiday season, people reconnect with loved ones, and we gather around the table to celebrate the harvest. It’s a day to reflect on all the things we’re thankful for in life. As men, there are things each of us can do to ensure that good health is one of those things. All this month, I and many others at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan have been growing moustaches for Movember, a nationwide initiative to tackle men’s health issues like cancer and mental health. Today, we’re sponsoring the Detroit Lions game against Green Bay, and we’ll be handing out Movember-themed rally towels at Ford Field.
The message is a simple one: Make sure you schedule regular visits with your doctor. That’s especially important for men, who we know are much less likely to visit their doctors for routine checkups, but it holds equally true for women. With prostate cancer as with breast cancer, early detection of a serious disease makes it easier to treat. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men, and it’s the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men. Testicular cancer, on the other hand, is comparatively rare but is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among younger men, ages 15 to 35. You can do yourself a favor by getting to know your risk factors — including family history — committing to following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. You can find more information, including stories of cancer survival and prevention, at #AHealthierMichigan.org/cancerawareness. In the meantime, I hope you and your family enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.