For years, November was mostly characterized by turkey dinners and early Christmas shopping. These days, however, it’s taken on new meaning, thanks to a powerful movement aimed at supporting male health.
Dubbed “Movember,” this month-long charity event asks men to don attention-grabbing mustaches to raise awareness about serious health issues that shorten lives. In doing so, the action has spread like wildfire throughout numerous countries, while raising substantial funds to fight one of the leading killers of men.
According to the American Cancer Society, each year 238,590 American men fall prey to prostate cancer. Of those, 29,720 lose their lives. That’s a staggering number that positions this disease as the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men; in fact, statistics suggest that 1 out of every 36 men will die of prostate cancer, and 1 in 6 will eventually develop some form of the disease.
Taking a Stand
Early detection is critical to fighting any disease; however, it’s especially crucial in the war against prostate cancer. Sadly, many men live with the affliction for years without knowing, because the symptoms aren’t particularly noticeable.
In 1999, a small group of Australian men gained attention for starting a mustache-growing movement in hopes of raising awareness of prostate cancer and depression in men. Originally cultivated during an ordinary evening at a local bar, the idea quickly caught on. These days, it’s spread from Melbourne, Australia to 21 countries worldwide. The global movement has also raised $147.0 million to combat prostate and testicular cancer, along with male mental health challenges.
A Time to Act
Throughout “Movember,” you’re apt to see a wide range of facial hair growth, patterned after people such as Nick Offerman, Burt Reynolds, or even President William Howard Taft. While these uncommon sights stir up plenty of belly laughs, they also serve to remind us to take our health seriously by getting tested for potential problems.
These days, men are fortunate enough to have access to Prostate Cancer Screening (PSA) without the need for a doctor’s appointment. By measuring a protein (prostate-specific antigen) produced exclusively by the prostate, these important tests are able to provide warning flags that can pave the way for early life-saving intervention. They can also offer valuable peace of mind to men who are worried about their long-term health.
So join the “Movember” movement and get tested today!