As November rolls around, get ready to see a whole lot more facial hair in your community. Since 2003, the eleventh month of the year has been dubbed Movember as men stop shaving and let their mustaches and beards flourish. But what’s the point of it all? Let’s delve into the cause that is no shave November.
The worldwide Movember movement had its origins in a pub in Melbourne, Australia in 2003. A couple of Aussie blokes struck upon the idea of encouraging their mates to grow a mustache as a fundraising idea to help a friend with breast cancer. Each guy was charged $10 to grow a mo. With the success of the venture, they decided to make the focus about preventing cancer in men going forward.
Needless to say, the Movember concept caught on. It spread across Australia and then went international. There are now official Movember campaigns in twenty one countries. More than one billion dollars has been raised in support of men’s health. The scope of the Movember Foundation has increased to incorporate the following:
- Prostate Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
- Poor Mental Health
- Physical Inactivity
The Aussie guys who started Movember back in 2003 organized themselves into a foundation. They were given charity status in 2007. In 2010, the Movember Foundation initiated the Moscars, a take-off of the Oscars by which people from around the world were able to submit a four-minute video highlighting their efforts in support of the Movember cause. Every year, the foundation also chooses their International Man of Movember, drawn from twenty-one national winners.
How to Support Movember
Cancer is a huge, imposing enemy. As individuals, we can feel powerless to do anything about it. The beauty of Movember is that it gives each of us a way to have a meaningful impact on the issue. By making the decision to let our facial hair grow, we are able to show our support in a tangible way.
In order to fully support this cause, you should embrace the spirit of Movember. Get your family and friends on board, encouraging them to grow a mo for cancer. Not only will every mustache contribute financially to a great cause, it will also be the catalyst for an unknown number of conversations about cancer and mental health issues among men. That’s important because most men are not very good at talking about these issues. Getting the subject out in the open will encourage men to take it seriously and get regular check ups for prostate and testicular cancer.
In addition to personally growing a mo in Movember, you can help to shine a spotlight on another issue that is rarely talked about — suicide. Every hour, an average of sixty men commit suicide worldwide. As part of the Movember month activities, thousands of men will be walking or running sixty miles over the course of the month to bring the issue of male suicide to light.
Another way to bring attention to the issues supported by the Movember movement is to be the host of a Mo Moment. A Mo Moment is simply when you gather together a group of friends to do something that highlights the cause. There are no parameters as to what you can do, but the more engaging, exciting, and fun, the better. Keep in mind, however, that the whole point of Movember is to promote men’s health. So, it would probably be wise to avoid things that are clearly unhealthy.
You may choose to organize a fundraising event in support of Movember. Again, there is no limit to what you choose as your fundraising event. You could do a solo challenge, such as a required number of push ups, or you could join with a team to run a marathon.
What Happens to the Money?
The money that is raised each year from the Movember movement goes toward funding research into prostate and testicular cancer. A portion also goes toward providing support for men who are living with these two cancers. Other monies are directed toward supporting men with mental health struggles. This includes funding the provision of mentors for young men who are dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts.
Prostate and Testicular Cancer Facts
Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, which is a little walnut-shaped gland inside the groin. It is about the size of a ping pong ball. It is likely that you will not experience any symptoms at the onset of prostate cancer. Over time, however, you may experience the following:
- Painful and weak urination
- Bloody urine and/or semen
- Erectile dysfunction
The key to prostate cancer prevention is to get on it early. If you notice any of the symptoms above, you should consult your doctor.
To reduce your likelihood of getting prostate cancer, you need to follow a healthy lifestyle that involves both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, along with a healthy diet that includes all three macronutrient groups and that minimizes high glycemic sugar laden carb foods.
Testicular cancer occurs in the testicles. It is the most common type of cancer experienced by men. Researchers do not know what causes testicular cancer. It appears that lifestyle is not a major contributing factor as it can affect both healthy and unhealthy men. Boys may also get testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer is a treatable condition. As with prostate cancer, the key to treatment is early detection. The most obvious symptom is a lump in the testicles. Performing a regular self examination is the most important thing you can do. While lying in bed, simply feel each of your testicles for a lump. You should also feel for a rubbery consistency to the testicles. If you notice anything suspicious, get to your doctor.
National Cancer Prevention Month
November isn’t the only month with a cancer focus. February is national cancer prevention month. The focus during February is on cancer prevention for both men and women. Promotion is given to incorporating healthy lifestyle changes and early detection strategies.
No matter what month it is, it’s always a good time to spread cancer awareness and prevention tips. How will you celebrate Movember?
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