Every November, men around the world agree to grow mustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Dubbed Movember, the annual effort is the brainchild of two friends, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, who joked about how to get mustaches back in style. The pair were inspired to link their efforts to a men’s health awareness campaign by a friend’s mother who was, at the time, raising money for breast cancer.
Since its inception, Movember has helped raise awareness about three issues: prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide among men, which would otherwise have received less attention. Taking the time to understand these issues can help make Movember an even bigger success than it already is.
The World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRFI) reports that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and the fourth most common cancer overall. In fact, over 1.4 million men worldwide are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Prostate cancer education can emphasize factors and behaviors that increase a man’s risk for the disease, which the WCRFI says includes size (being tall increases the risk of a man) and weight (being overweight and obese also increases the risk).
The Canadian Cancer Society reports that the average age at diagnosis of testicular cancer is around 33, underscoring the idea that no man is too young to know about men’s health issues. Although testicular cancer is not as common as prostate cancer, oncologists note that diagnoses of the disease have been on the rise for decades. The reasons are unknown, but lack of awareness of the disease and what can be done to catch it early could be contributing to the rise.
The suicide of men
Globally, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reports that suicide rates for men are just over twice as high as for women. Greater awareness of suicide, including how more common it is among men than women, could help prevent more suicides. More information on suicide prevention is available at suicideprevention.ca
For more information on Movember, visit ca.movember.com
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