What is Movember?
Every November, a band of perfectly ordinary men take on the brave task of Movember: growing a moustache for charity in a bid to raise awareness about men’s health – prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues such as depression.
The Movember Foundation is the only global charity focused solely on men’s health. The Foundation raises funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programs that enable men to live happier, healthier, and longer lives. Awareness and fundraising activities are run year-round by the Foundation, with the annual Movember campaign being globally recognized for its fun, disruptive approach to fundraising and getting men to take action for their health.
During Movember, men are challenged to grow a moustache, and men and women can be physically active and move or host a fundraising event. Not only do these commitments raise vital funds, they also generate powerful and often life-changing conversations
But where did Movember begin?
It started in Melbourne, Australia 10 years ago, when a group of friends decided to revive an old-fashioned trend – the moustache. 30 guys took part just to see what would happen, and when they realised how much fun it was, they started raising money the next year, starting by raising awareness for prostate cancer.
- Movember is about real men growing real moustaches and talking about real issues.
- The Moustache is a ribbon for men’s health.
- Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.
- Mo Bros sporting upper lip hair effectively become walking talking billboards for the 30 days of Movember raising funds and much-needed awareness around the often ignored issues of men’s health.
- Mo Bros start the month clean-shaven, then grow and groom their moustache all month long.
Importance of Movember:
November has become “Movember” among health campaigners around the world as thousands of men adopt a well-groomed approach to male cancer awareness. Movember aims to raise the profile of diseases such as Prostate cancer and Testicular cancer.
While prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, there are prevention steps men can take. Finding out if there is a family history of the disease will help, as men are 2.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer if a father or brother has had it.
There are also lifestyle changes that can be made.
Exercising every day and taking more care of your diet can help. Men living in western countries are more likely to get prostate cancer than men in south and East Asian countries. This may be because of the western diet, which contains less fruit and vegetables and more dairy, red meat, sugar and processed foods.
It’s these lifestyle factors that need to be addressed by men in the Emirates in order for them to cut their risk of all cancers.
“Nationals and expats need to change their habits toward smoking and exposure to the sun. For other cancers, the risk cannot be significantly changed – but sometimes the mortality related to it can be reduced by detecting it earlier, such as in the case of prostate cancer.”
What is prostate cancer?
The prostate is a gland located immediately below the bladder, in front of the bowels. It produces fluid that protects and enriches sperm.Prostate cancer occurs when some of the cells in the prostate reproduce far more rapidly than normal, resulting in a tumour. If left untreated, prostate cancer cells may eventually spread from the prostate and invade distant parts of the body, particularly the lymph nodes and bones, producing secondary tumours in a process known as metastasis. One of the most worrying aspects of the disease is that most prostate cancers develop without men experiencing any symptoms in the early stages.
Know the risk factors
Prostate cancer only affects men, as women do not have a prostate gland. Risk factors in developing the disease include:
- Older a man, the more likely he is to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- A man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease.
- Increased occurrence in black African and Afro-Caribbean males.
Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.Some men, however, will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer. These symptoms include:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
- Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
What is testicular cancer?
The testicles are part of the male reproductive system and are responsible for the production of male hormones (mostly testosterone) and sperm. Testicular cancer starts as an abnormal growth or tumour that develops in one or both testicles. There are several types of testicular cancer, but the most common is the germ cell tumour.
Who’s at risk?
The rate of men diagnosed with testicular cancer has doubled in the last 50 years. Early detection and knowing the risks is key.
- Young men between the age of 15-40 years.
- Men with a family history such as a brother or father diagnosed with testicular cancer.
- Men who have had a previous occurrence of testicular cancer.
- Men who have undescended testes at birth.