By Tara Gillies, Public Relations Assistant
It is very well known that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, many are unaware that November is a time to raise awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and depression. Prostate cancer affects millions of men, but is not discussed nearly as much as other diseases. In order to raise awareness and money for this deadly disease, a group of Australian men conceived the idea to grow mustaches for the month of November or “Movember.” In 2004, the Movember Foundation began to raise awareness for men’s health with events in Australia and New Zealand before spreading to several other countries including the United States, in 2007. Since the origins of Movember, the campaign has raised about $174 million dollars for research and awareness. Last year alone, the movement raised over $80 million dollars, with about 450,000 registered participants.
There are three rules for Movember inclusion:
1. On Shadowe’en (October 31st), the complete moustache region, including the entire upper lip and the handlebar zones, must be completely shaved.
2. For the entire duration of Movember (Movember 1st – 30th inclusive), no hair shall be allowed to grow in the goatee zone – being any facial area below the bottom lip.
3. There is to be no joining of the moustache to sideburns
Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancers in men, with over 2,000,000 men in the United States living with the disease. However, due to the fact that symptoms are rare, it often goes undiagnosed until it is too late. Family history and age are both contributing risk factors for prostate cancer. In addition, diets high in trans fats may increase the likelihood of developing prostate cancer while a vegetarian diet can decrease one’s risk. Of those men born today, over 16% of them will develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Thus, further research and awareness is necessary to increase the chances of survival.
If you would like to get involved in the Movember movement, visit their website and pledge your support. They have fun contests throughout the month including the Best Mo Space given to the individual that gets the most online hits and the Brushes with Fame given to a person who gets a picture with their mustache and a celebrity. Women can get involved as well. You can support the men in your lives or organize a Movember in your community. Local businesses can get involved as well. My boyfriend’s brother-in-law works at a bar in Hoboken where every male employee grows a mustache for the month of November. They raise money and awareness for a great cause while having some light-hearted fun.