What is Movember?
Movember is an annual event in November where people across the world grow moustaches to raise awareness and fundraise for the health issues men face – specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues.
The initiative started in 2003 when 2 men from Australia thought about bringing the moustache back to popularity. They were inspired by a friend’s mother who was fundraising for breast cancer and decided they would start a campaign of their own– raising money for prostate cancer. They asked 30 friends to grow a moustache and fundraise for the cause. Although they didn’t raise much money the first year, a movement was born.
Since that initial campaign, the Movember movement increased to 5,542,507 people from over 20 countries growing a moustache to support men’s health. The money raised has funded 1,200 men’s health projects. Their focus has shifted to not only focus on prostate cancer, but also testicular cancer and mental health in men.
Why is it important?
Men face many health problems but are less likely to talk about them or seek help. Movember seeks to make a difference in men’s health and advocates for the following causes:
- Testicular cancer: mainly affects younger males between the ages of 15 to 35 but can occur at other ages. If found early, testicular cancer is almost always curable. To detect testicular cancer men can perform regular self-checks.
- Mental health: approximately 1 in 10 Canadian men will experience major depression at some point in their lives. In Canada, 75% of suicides are men. We can encourage men and create supportive spaces for them to talk and seek help.
- Prostate cancer: over 1.4 million men are diagnosed each year. The majority of cases occur in men who are 50 years of age or older. With early detection, there is a 98% chance of survival beyond 5 years. If found late, the figure drops to 26%. It is important for men over 50 to be tested for prostate cancer regularly.
How can I get involved?
Anyone is able to participate in a Movember campaign.
Regardless of your background or how you identify, you can grow a moustache and fundraise. If you aren’t up for growing your own moustache, you can alternatively support your family, friends, and colleagues who are participating or join the “Make Your Move” campaign, where you run 60 kilometers in one month to raise funds. You can also share information about Movember and the causes it advocates for on your social media.
To learn more about the Movember Movement, you can find more information on their site.