Each November, men across the globe agree to grow a moustache to raise awareness about men's health issues. Dubbed Movember, this annual effort is the brainchild of two friends, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, who had been joking about how to bring moustaches back into fashion. The two men were inspired to tie their efforts into a campaign to raise awareness about men's health by the mother of a friend who, at the time, was raising funds for breast cancer.
Since its inception, Movember has helped raise awareness about three issues: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide, that might otherwise have garnered less attention. Taking time to understand these issues can help make Movember an even greater success than it already is.
The World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRFI) reports prostate cancer is the second most commonly occurring cancer in men and the fourth most common cancer overall. In fact, more than 1.4 million men across the globe are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Education about prostate cancer can include an emphasis on the factors and behaviors that increase a man's risk for the disease, which the WCRFI indicates include height (being tall increases a man's risk) and weight (being overweight and obese also increases risk).
The Canadian Cancer Society reports the average age at the time of diagnosis of testicular cancer is about 33, which underscores the notion that no man is too young to learn about men's health issues. Though testicular cancer is not as prevalent 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 detect it early could be contributors to the increase.
Globally, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reports that suicide rates in men are just over twice as high as those for women. A greater awareness of suicide, including how much more prevalent it is among men than women, could help prevent more suicides. More information about suicide prevention is available at suicideprevention.ca
More information about Movember can be found at ca.movember.com
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