During “No Shave November,” men across the country are letting it grow – from beards to mustaches to hair – raising awareness and funding for cancer research.
As a pathologist who diagnoses cancer and signs death certificates for North Carolina, I know that raising awareness is critical to tackling cancer and preventing cancer-related deaths.
For example, men should be aware that the five most common cancers for U.S. males are prostate, lung, colorectal, bladder and melanoma. Among these top five cancers and compared to the U.S., North Carolina has a higher mortality rate for prostate cancer, lung cancer and melanoma.
With each of the five most common cancers, know that simple steps can reduce risks. Quit smoking, use sunscreen when outdoors and maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and smart food choices. Then talk with doctors about unique risks based on family and health history. This will guide their schedule for early-detection screenings.
So let it grow, but stay in the know. They’ll go a long way to reducing their cancer risk.
Michelle Aurelius, M.D.