To many, Movember is a source of fun that puts a smile on the face. The annual event sees men around the world grow a moustache throughout the month of November. But its real and serious aim is in no doubt – to raise awareness of men’s health issues, including prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
At the Proton Therapy Center we know all about these major health concerns, and that is why we are happy to highlight and support the cause. The phenomena started in Australia around fifteen years ago, with the realisation among a group of friends that men were facing a health crisis that wasn’t being talked about. Whereas women dominated the international health agenda, with huge publicity around cancers and other diseases and conditions, issues concerning men were rarely highlighted. Which is strange, as men die on average six years earlier than women, often from diseases that are treatable and preventable. Change was needed, and what better way to bring that about than by men growing an obvious sign and symbol of their good health – the perfectly groomed moustache.
This year, significant amounts of money will be raised to support awareness of men’s cancers and other conditions through sponsorship from moustache growth. Others, both men and women, will take part in sponsored physical activities, such as running, and even friendly get-togethers can be used to raise funds. But perhaps the best and most effective way to raise awareness is the simple act of growing a moustache during the 30 days of Movember. It lets everyone know the reason why a moustache is being sported for one month only, raising awareness with every new glance. The Movember Foundation has become a prominent organisation around Movember, giving ideas on how to fundraise and raise awareness, and details can be found online. The Proton Therapy Center believes men should be inspired by Movember’s aims to find out about better health, in particular prostate cancer.
The disease is the most common cancer in men and without national screening programmes in the UK and Ireland, can go undetected for some time. Men should be aware of the common warning signs of the illness, which include difficulty going to the the bathroom and pain or discomfort when passing urine. A sudden, urgent need to visit the toilet at night can also be an early indication of the disease.