Changing the face of men’s health

LIP RUG, MOUTH BROW: November’s the month to give the razor a holiday, and give your two cents toward men’s health.

“With great moustache, comes great responsibility.” — The Family Guy

The responsibility of willing men this November is to stop shaving their upper lip to support the annual Movember grow a ‘mo’ (moustache) campaign, while raising awareness and funds to support men’s health issues.

From pencil-thin to Fu Man Chu, growing a ‘stache for Movember “has truly become a global movement,” says Adam Garone, co-founder and CEO of Movember. Since 2003 the Movember campaign has raised over $176 million to support men’s health specifically, prostate cancer, a disease that affects one in seven men.

Last year Canadians raised $22.3 million for the cause and, while fundraising is important, raising awareness and getting men to the doctor is even more crucial.

“At the end of the day, if men don’t get to the doctor, all the research and all the great work being done is for naught,” says Pete Bombaci, director of Movember Canada.

“We don’t put numbers to our (fundraising) goals. We want to see increased conversation about men’s health,” continues Bombaci. “Growing that moustache and having those conversations over the dinner table, the boardroom table, wherever they take place, is the critical piece.”

Prostate cancer is as prevalent in men as breast cancer is in women, and is the most common cancer to afflict Canadian men. Developed as a result of dietary, environmental or hereditary factors, 70 Canadian men will be diagnosed with, and 11 men will die from, prostate cancer every day in Canada. Over 90 per cent of prostate cancer cases are curable if detected and treated in their earliest stages.

There are plenty of ways for both Mo Bros and Mo Sisters to get involved in the campaign, either individually or in teams. “Last year, 65 per cent of our donations came from women, so they play a key role in our campaign through (the) encouragement of their men,” says Bombaci.

One of the more entertaining ways to participate is to throw a Mo Party. “We really leave it up to our Mo Bros and Mo Sisters to drive the kind of engagement in their community that works best for them,” commented Bombaci. “We can provide tools like posters, awareness cards and sashes for the winner of Mr. Movember and Ms. Movember.”

The organization not only supports education and awareness, but funds research and various survivorship initiatives for prostate cancer. Last year over 86 per cent of money raised went directly to Prostate Cancer Canada research and survivorship programs, while two per cent was directed to education and awareness campaigns.

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