With the cooler temperatures comes the reminder that it’s time to consider growing a moustache for an excellent cause.
Men around the world are signing onto the ‘Movember’ cause – growing a moustache through the month of November while raising funds for prostate cancer research.
Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.
Those interested in taking part can register at www.Movember.com with a clean-shaven face. According to the web site, for the rest of the month, the ‘Mo Bros’ groom and trim their moustaches while signing up support of friends and family.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men and is the second largest cause of male cancer deaths in Canada. 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, which exceeds the number of women who die from breast cancer annually.
Despite these figures, the level of awareness, understanding and support for prostate cancer lags significantly behind that of women’s health causes.
Statistics show that one in seven men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime and one in 28 will die of it. A man dies from prostate cancer every 22 minutes.
Other statistics show that prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men, the incidence rates are nearly double in African Canadian men and if detected and treated early, there is a 95% survival rate associated with prostate cancer.
Last year, globally, 1,127,152 people took part in Movember and raised $146.6 million. In Canada, 247,441 participants raised $42.6 million.
Regarding Movember, the 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 web site Movember and Sons, the campaign is also serving as an effective ‘awareness-building’ tool.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, for those struggling with the disease, there is a group of men in Red Deer who are ready to offer support.
The Red Deer Prostate Cancer Support Group (Prostate Cancer Canada Network – local chapter) has been lending a supportive hand for 15 years now.
It was first launched by Bill Martynes and Mike Eckenswiller, with help from Marg Scheyen of the Canadian Cancer Society.
Meanwhile, the group is proud to present ‘Awareness Musicale’ – an evening of live music in support of those affected by prostate cancer.
The benefit concert is taking place at Festival Hall in Red Deer on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., and will feature Ben Crane with appearances by Lloyd Griffith, Ray Baird, and the Visions Country Gospel group.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at 53rd Street Music, over the phone at 1-877-895-4430 or online at www.davidthompsonhealthtrust.com.
Tickets purchased for the event will go towards helping one of the estimated 2,500 men in Alberta that will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in this coming year.
Funds raised through the concert will allow the Central Alberta Prostate Awareness & Support Group to reach out to more men in the community, spreading information and awareness about prostate cancer.
The awareness and support group, which continues to meet every third Thursday of the month since 1997, is an informal get-together, where real men share real stories about their experiences with prostate cancer. The meetings are open to anyone who is interested, and there is no expectation of commitment.
The members of the group do not treat, diagnose, judge or advise.
But, they do have a lot of information and even more personal stories to help men and their families gain insight into the different types of treatments and approaches.
Anyone interested in more information about the group can contact Bert at 403-343-3808 or Bill at 403-342-0694.
For more information or to pledge support for a Mo Bro, check out http://ca.movember.com/.