Movember & Prostate Cancer

Readers of this blog know that the author encourages you to be aware of and support causes fighting all kinds of cancers. This month though, marks an increased awareness of one particular type. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in our country,* even though less than half the population has a prostate. It is estimated that one in six males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.** Taken a few other ways, that stat equates to three guys on my hockey team, three guys at my place of work, and four guys from a gathering I was at on Saturday.

Thus, the author is participating in Movember. An awareness event that originally began in Australia, that promotes knowledge, screening, and fundraising for prostate cancer. The challenge is to grow a moustache for the entire month, beginning clean shaven on November 1st. It is not a competition, but a campaign. The official “rules” suggest that one not grow a beard to adjoin said ‘satche. However, the author is aware – due to past experience pictured here (for those that can login to flickr) – that a moustache makes him look incredibly sleazy and may jeopardize his employment, relationships, and standing in the community. Thus, he has been bending the rules a bit and growing a small beard as well to lessen the sleaze – if only somewhat. He will shave this beard portion off though, leaving only the moustache at the end of the month. You can help decide for how many days he will go just moustache. For every $5 donated here he will increase the moustache only visage by one day, and bite the bullet to go to work, go out in public, and try to be an upstanding citizen while sporting a downright despicable form of facial hair. Example: $20.00 = moustache only from Nov. 26-Nov. 30. Want to force his hand – here you go: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/472979.

Now, I am well aware that many of you already make careful choices about cancer charities you support, and as you may know from previous postings, it is the Terry Fox Foundation which I often prioritize. I am not here to sway these sentiments. The money is not the primary purpose of this posting. The main objective is to increase awareness of a type of cancer that is defeated 95% of the time if caught early. As you may have heard, males, as a generalization, are not the best at pursuing personal health issues with a doctor, especially those in this particular region of the anatomy. Yet, in the case of prostate cancer, the only excuse is stubbornness – and that’s not good enough. If you are male you need to be aware. If you are a wife, girlfriend, partner, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, or friend you can be supportive of this awareness.

The mousatche/beard I’m sporting has already increased awareness in people I come into contact with. People at work, friends, and family have all inquired after the reason behind it. Thus, I must hand it to the people who came up with the idea – it works great. It certainly is a talking point, which is well suited, as so should prostate cancer. As you are out and about for the remainder of Movember, be sure to try and spot others sporting the ‘stache, give ’em props, and don’t be afraid to talk it up – being aware is the biggest step.

*-Canadian Cancer Society Statistics- 2008 new cases and 2009 estimated new cases of cancer.
**-Prostate Cancer Canada website: http://www.prostatecancer.ca/Prostate-Cancer.aspx
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