The beginning of the year is usually filled with resolutions about change and positivity, but there’s more. January is also Manuary month. Yes, you read that right, and it is spelled correctly.
So, what is Manuary?
Every January, men grow a beard to help spread awareness about men and head and neck cancer. Yes, Manuary is about men, but the celebration is not limited to them. Also, not all men who celebrate Manuary grow a beard; there are ways for everyone to celebrate, including women.
Manuary began in 2010 at Brentwood School in British Columbia, Canada, when students started it to celebrate and grow facial hair. Since then, Manuary has come to be associated with men and head and neck cancer.
So, if someone asks you, “what is Manuary?” You know what to tell them. But there’s more…
What is the Importance of Manuary?
When it comes to men and head and neck cancer, many American men are at risk. According to the National Cancer Institute, head and neck cancer accounts for 4% of all cancers diagnosed in America. Also, men are twice as likely as women to suffer head and neck cancer, and it is most likely to occur in men over 50.
Like all cancers, a man’s chance of survival improves if the cancer is detected early. Head and neck cancer can impair speaking, breathing, and swallowing. And without treatment, it could lead to a painful death.
Head and neck cancer includes cancer that occurs anywhere in the head and neck except the eyes and brain. They can occur in the sinuses, back of the mouth and throat, the larynx, on the lips, in the salivary glands, and inside and behind the nose.
With these grim statistics in mind, you see why Manuary is an important event to help raise awareness about men and head and neck cancer.
Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer
Symptoms of head and neck cancer vary according to where they occur.
- Throat (Pharynx): Persistent neck or throat pain, trouble hearing, difficulty chewing or swallowing food, pain or ringing in the ears.
- Oral Cavity: pain in the mouth, growth or swelling in the mouth, swollen jaws, white or red sore on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth.
- Sinus and nasal cavity: Pain in the upper teeth, nose bleeding, blocked sinuses, sinus infections that don’t clear with antibiotics treatment, headaches, pain, and swelling around the eyes.
Causes of Head and Neck Cancer
Any of the following risk factors can increase a man’s chances of developing head and neck cancer:
- Alcohol and tobacco use: These are the two most important risk factors for head and neck cancers. People who use alcohol and tobacco together are more likely to develop head and neck cancer than people who use only alcohol or tobacco alone.
- Ancestry: Asians, especially Chinese, are more likely to suffer from nasopharyngeal cancer.
- Occupational exposures: People exposed to industrial chemicals and substances like wood dust, formaldehyde, nickel dust, and asbestos are at a greater risk of developing head and neck cancer. People who work in the construction, logging, food, ceramic, metal, and textile industries risk exposure to these substances and chemicals.
- Epstein-Barr Virus: Epstein-Barr virus infection can increase the risk of nasopharyngeal cancer and cancer of the salivary glands.
- Genetic Disorders: Underlying genetic factors can increase a person’s chance of developing head and neck cancer.
- HPV Infection: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can increase your chance of getting head and neck cancer. In America, three-quarters of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV.
How to Prevent Head and Neck Cancer
By practicing these safe habits, you can reduce your risk of developing head and neck cancer:
- Quit smoking
- Talk to your doctor about HPV vaccination. HPV vaccine reduces your chances of contracting the disease.
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Use condoms and dental dams to reduce your chance of getting HPV
- Don’t use tobacco products
How to Celebrate Manuary
Now that you know what Manuary is all about, here are some ways to celebrate and spread awareness about head and neck cancer.
Create Awareness about Head and Neck Cancer
Awareness is one of the most important aspects of fighting head and neck cancer. People can’t recognize head and neck cancer symptoms and seek treatment if they don’t know something is wrong. So, many people don’t even know how common head and neck cancers are or what causes them.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, early detection improves the chances of survival. This is why we encourage men to learn the head and neck cancer symptoms and make an appointment with a doctor for a physical check-up.
You can play your part by speaking to family, neighbors, and colleagues about Manuary and its importance. You can also spread Manuary awareness on social media.
Grow a Beard
If you’ve been thinking of ditching the razor and growing a beard, Manuary is a great time to do it. If you don’t usually grow a beard, you’ll elicit plenty of surprise when your family, neighbors, or colleagues see you with one, and you can use that opportunity to spread the gospel of Manuary.
You can even participate in beard-growing contests to help spread this head and neck cancer awareness.
Make a Donation
You can play a role in the fight against head and neck cancer by donating to cancer charities.
Your donation will help fund cancer treatment for those who need financial assistance and buy important items like fake beards for cancer patients. Donations will also fund research that may one day come up with a cure for cancer.
Manuary with Craft Medical
At Craft Medical, we specialize in the health and well-being of men, male sexual health in particular. You need to have total body health before you can enjoy a satisfying sex life; cancer gets in the way.
This January, we’re helping to spread information about men and head and neck cancer, and we encourage you to do the same. Now that you have answers to questions such as “what is Manuary” and “what’s the importance of Manuary,” you can use this knowledge to participate in combating head and neck cancer.
Also, if you have any concerns about your sexual health, we can help you. We understand how delicate sexual issues are, so we have designed a service that prioritizes your privacy and guarantees confidentiality.