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Movember: James’ story


James Harley, from Bupa’s Continuous Improvement Team, is one of dozens of men at Bupa growing a ‘Mo’ this month to raise awareness of men’s health issues including prostate and testicular cancer, and mental health. Here he shares his motivation for forgoing the razor for the seventh year running.

“I’ve always been inspired by the breast cancer charities that have created a real movement and awareness; whether it’s a pink ribbon, Race for Life or moon walk.

My mum had breast cancer in the early 2000s and thankfully was diagnosed at an early stage. That self-awareness and getting things checked out early was therefore ingrained in me.

When I first heard of Movember, I thought fantastic, a male equivalent of wearing just a bra and going for a walk to raise awareness. Why bother though? Well apparently, unless it’s a man-cold (terrible), us chaps aren’t very good at seeking help whether it’s physical or mental. Movember is about breaking that taboo and encouraging men to be more self-aware. To not be embarrassed by check-ups and perhaps look out for a fellow brother by sometimes asking a simple question ‘how are you today?’ It’s not an all-boys club either - Mo-sistas also have an important role in encouraging men to seek help and raise awareness too.

Awareness and self-checks have also helped me personally. In 2015 I sought advice for a suspicious looking mole which turned out to be a malignant melanoma. Luckily it was caught very early, and I now go for six-monthly check-ups.

I want to stress the importance of self-awareness, of all aspects of health to as many people as possible, and Movember is the perfect outlet. Plus, it gives me an excuse to grow a crazy ‘tache! I feel proud that the company I work for supports Movember and has a series of care pathways to support people going through these conditions.”

Visit James’ Movember page