November 21st, 2012

Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate all the blessings in our life. Movember 2012 is all about sharing knowledge, so use your Mo to start conversations with your family about men’s health.

Healthy Mo is a Happy Mo

Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate family, friends and all the blessings in our life. Movember 2012 is all about sharing knowledge, so use your moustache to start important conversations with your family about men’s health.  Our friend and Mo Bro, Dr. Bill Blazey, shares his tips on how to begin that (sometimes awkward) discussion with your family this Thanksgiving.
  1. Most cancers and chronic diseases, such as heart disease, have genetic links. While the family is all together, it’s a great time to talk about medical problems that have occurred within your family. While we can’t change our genetics, we can make healthy choices to limit its effects.  Sometimes the best gift we can give to the younger generation is knowledge from the past ones.
  2. Use humor to break the ice. My dad always has a bowl of nuts in the den, so last year I started the talk with, “Nice nuts dad, by the way have you had your doctor check yours?”  For the rest of the holidays, my dad would joke with his friends about that.  Of course, follow it up with talking about testicular and prostate cancer awareness and the Mo.
  3. Tobacco use (smoking or chew) is a major cause of most cancers, especially lung and oral cancers.  If your father, son or brother smokes or chews tobacco, ask him why he does it.  Support him to stop and be persistent.  One of my patients quit smoking after his 10 year-old grandson said that he wanted to smoke so he could be ‘cool like his pops.’ It’s tough to quit, but it can save your life.
  4. Exercise is critical to decreasing heart disease and even cancer risks.  Challenge your dad, brother, or son to get in at least 150 minutes of exercise every week (2.5 hours). Start by going for a hike after Thanksgiving dinner or having a game of touch-football after you’re done watching the ones on TV.
  5. “The talk”… Remember when your dad had that awkward talk with you about the ‘birds and the bees’.  If your dad is single and dating, now’s the time to remind him about safe sex.  STDs aren’t limited to your college years and many older adults find that out the hard way.
  6. With these tough economic times, everyone is under stress in some way.  Find some time to be alone with your dad or son and ask him how he is doing.  Men are expected to be tough and not show fear or stress, but it doesn’t mean they don’t need support.  Be honest with your feelings, chances are that you aren’t alone. and the mobile app have useful information in the men’s health section from what health risks to look out for by age to navigating a cancer diagnosis.  You can even download our men’s health checklist.

Talking about your health can be hairy, but it’s much better to be prepared. Knowledge is power. Moustache is king.