Men (and women) manned up for men’s health this month, raising awareness to men’s health below-the-belt.

More than 40 people participated in Jamestown Regional Medical Center’s annual #GROWvember beard-growing competition. #GROWvember is a silly way to get the word out about a serious cause, said Dr. Robert J. Bates, JRMC’s Harvard-trained urologist. Facial hair shows you care, he said, and opens the door to conversations about below-the-belt subjects like prostates, bladders, kidneys.

Men’s health below-the-belt can make a person squeamish, but ignoring symptoms can have a devastating effect.

“Silence can be our worst enemy. Talking about these issues and seeing a specialist are the necessary steps to below-the-belt health,” Dr. Bates said.

In celebration of those hairy conversations – and faces – JRMC held a Stache Bash Tuesday, Nov. 27. Award recipients included:

  • All about the Beard, No Stubble – Kevin Windish
  • Baby Beard – Brock Schrom
  • How Dapper – Taylor James
  • Best Stasch – Ben Smith
  • Whiskerina – Jodi Thom
  • Cashiest ‘Stache (most raised per category either team, individual or business)
    • Team: Jamestown High School
    • Individual: Dave Smette
  • Best in Show (most participants as a team) – University of Jamestown – Danny Neville

Proceeds benefited the JRMC Cancer Center.

Misinformation about men’s health issues is abundant, Dr. Bates said, in part because it’s so private.

Important questions you ‘mustache’ yourself: How often do you go to the bathroom? When you go, is it urgent? Do you have blood in your urine?

Various treatment options are available locally. Patients can self-refer, meaning they don’t have to visit their primary physician first. They can make an appointment directly at JRMC. That cuts down on embarrassing conversations, Dr. Bates said.


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