Men worldwide are helping raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer by growing mustaches during the month of November for the Movember campaign.
According to the official Movember website, the campaign encourages men to grow a mustache during the 30 days of November, register on Movember.com and ask friends and family to donate to help fund research for cancer and other men’s health related issues.
Several men on campus are taking this opportunity to grow out their facial hair to support the cause.
“This is the first year we’re actually involved with Movember,” said Sean Stringham, a Spanish major from Salt Lake City.
Stringham said he took an interest in donning a mustache for charity after his roommate began organizing an event for the men’s swim team to get involved in Movember.
“They just had a swim meet on Saturday, and it had a Movember theme,” Stringham said. “All the guys on the Swim team are growing ‘staches, and part of that event was to help promote men’s health.”
He said that he thinks growing a mustache is a really fun and different way to do some good.
“If we’re going to grow a mustache anyways, number one: we’re promoting the cause, number two: raising some money is better than raising no money,” he said. “Millions and millions of people get involved, so even if everyone just gives a little bit, it makes a huge difference.”
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer amongst men after skin cancer. While early detection and awareness are increasing in women for breast cancer, Stringham said prostate and testicular cancer are detected much less frequently.
“It’s hardly ever detected in men,” Stringham said. “This was something I learned too: The most common age range for testicular cancer amongst guys is 18-40, which is kind of interesting because it’s a younger group so it’s something to be checking.”
Stringham has formed a team to help him in his quest to raise awareness for Movember. Known as the “Super ‘Stache Brothers,” their team has raised funds that will eventually go to funding cancer research and plan on ending the month with a party to celebrate their accomplishments.
“We’re going to do ‘Break The ‘Stache’ and all of us are going to shave them off. Then maybe we can finally go on dates again,” he laughed.
“Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer (in men) after skin cancer. Breast cancer, for example is always a big deal and the survival rate and early detection in women is always a lot more prevalent amongst women than it is men.
Hayden Davis, a graphic design major, got involved with Movember after took on a class assignment.
“I was assigned to do a PSA so I was trying to think of something that would be interesting and I could be invested in,” Davis said. “I thought Movember was a cool cause and it was current and I thought it would be fun.”
“I think it helps men, which is kind of a new concept,” he said. “It talks about it on the website that men usually don’t think about health concerns like prostate cancer, or maybe they don’t want to which is completely understandable.. and that helps people remember and raise awareness of men’s health issues which are applicable to me, so I feel a part of that.”
Movember is also popular in other countries as well. Halley Hogan, a Kansas native currently living in Ireland with her husband, is a Movember supporter and has noticed significant involvement on the Emerald Isle.
“It’s actually a pretty big deal here,” Hogan said. “A lot of guys do it, especially athletes. I remember last year the Munster rugby team did a big ‘blue’ campaign promoting men’s health. I think some guys just do it for the craic (fun) but a lot of guys genuinely want to raise awareness and money.”
Hogan said that although she doesn’t think her husband’s mustache compliments his face all that well, she’s always found him handsome and she is supportive of his involvement in the cause.
“At the end of the day, it’s his face and I’m just grateful that he’s healthy, because obviously there are women not as lucky as me to have that otherwise there wouldn’t be this awareness month,” she said.