It’s time for the ‘Movember’ movement

Red Deerians getting on board with cause

As men around the world have begun to grow their moustaches as ‘Movember’ kicked off earlier this week, it’s a reminder of what a terrific cause this really is both as a fundraiser and an awareness-builder.

Local businesses are also getting behind the cause with many encouraging their male staff and clients to help raise money for prostate cancer research as well. The Movember movement was launched back in 2003 by some guys in Australia who wanted to bring back the moustache into fashion while raising money for prostate cancer research. There are now formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Canada, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Ireland.

People around the world have since taken up the cause, and today Movember is truly an international fundraising success. According to the website Movember & Sons, the campaign is also serving as an effective ‘awareness-building’ tool. Since its inception, the Movember movement has raised $759 million and funded over 1,000 programs focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.

According to Movember Canada, each year around 23,600 new cases are diagnosed in Canada and close to 4,000 Canadian men die of the disease every year. Statistics show that one in eight Canadian men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime and one in 28 will die of it. While there are cases of prostate cancer showing up in younger men, it is recommended that men begin an annual screening at age 50 and at age 40 if there is a family history.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, prostate cancer is a malignant tumour that starts in cells of the prostate. Malignant means that it can spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men. It usually grows slowly and can often be completely removed or managed successfully. Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer include changes in bladder habits; need to urinate often (frequency), especially at night; intense need to urinate (urgency); difficulty in starting or stopping the urine flow; inability to urinate; weak or decreased urine stream; interrupted urine stream; a sense of incompletely emptying the bladder; burning or pain during urination; or blood in the urine, among others.

Meanwhile, getting behind the cause is easy – Mo Bros sign up and start clean shaven on Nov. 1st. They grow and groom their moustaches for 30 days of Movember all the while raising funds and awareness for men’s health. This is a campaign that has really taken off world-wide, not only with men taking part but women can get involved by becoming a ‘Mo Sista’. Mo Sistas not only help to fundraise for the cause as well, but they also work to build awareness regarding prostate cancer and encourage the ‘Mo Bros’ in their lives to get checked.

As for the campaign, last year, globally, nearly 485,720 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas took part in Movember and raised $82.3 million. In Canada, participants raised $17.5 million. Besides fundraising for prostate cancer research, Movember representatives say they will also continue to work to change habits and attitudes men have about their health and to educate men about the health risks they face. It’s great to see this kind of support, and it’s a unique initiative that everyone can get behind.

For more information, check out ca.movember.com.

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