October is coming to an end, which means Movember is approaching. In the month of Movember, also known as No Shave November, people grow out their mustaches to raise awareness and funds for men’s health and cancer, such as prostate cancer. There is even a multinational Movember Foundation operating in 21 countries aiming to raise money for programs which focus on men’s health. They aspire to stop men from dying way too young. By encouraging men to grow out their facial hair and get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection and so on. Their efforts have helped fund about 800 health programs.
In 1999, a group of young men in Australia mentioned the term ‘Movember’ in a news report, which was where it all started. Also in 2004 another unrelated group in Australia grew out their facial hair for 30 days for prostate cancer and depression in men, which would later become the Movember Foundation. They have raised more than $650 million since the start. In 2012 the most money was raised in a given year; $123.1 million. People participating in Movember start clean shaven at the beginning of the month, then grow a mustache throughout the whole month to make a public and obvious statement about men’s health, which is sometimes ignored. Last year more than 5 million people around the world participated by signing up officially.
Raising awareness for men’s health is extremely important. For example, prostate cancer is actually a very commonly diagnosed cancer in men. One in eight men in both Australia and the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives, meanwhile one in six men in America are at risk. In the UK, one man dies from this type of cancer every hour. This shows how this issue shouldn’t be overlooked, which is why the Movember event is very significant.
By Shahd ElNaggar