Do you ever wonder where great ideas originate? Sometimes, that “ah ha” moment occurs in the shower or when walking the dog. What if you learned that the entire Movember concept originated while two friends were enjoying a beer in Melbourne, Australia? That’s exactly how it happened.
The Movember movement that has men sporting mustaches worldwide started in Australian in 2003 because Travis Garone and Luke Slattery joked about making the mustache popular again and encouraged 30 other “Mo Bros” to participate. In 2004, 450 men from Australia, Spain, and the UK raised AUD 54,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, and “Mo Bros and Mo Sistas” from all around the globe now participate to raise funds and awareness for multiple men’s health concerns including:
- Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
- Prostate Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
Men Are More Likely to Commit Suicide Than Women
According to the U.S. Movember website, “Globally, on average, 1 man dies by suicide every minute of every day,” and “4 in 5 suicides [in the US] are men.” Even though women are more frequently diagnosed with depression and attempt suicide more often, men are more likely to succeed when thoughts of ending their own lives occur. Researchers attribute part of this to the fact that more men are gun owners and the fact that communicating about their struggles has been discouraged from an early age.
Aging and Men’s Cancer
According to the latest information from the American Cancer Society, “1 man in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.” Age is the key risk factor for prostate cancer, with most cases being diagnosed in men over 65. Genetics may play a role, and just as in women, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that increase the likelihood of breast cancer also increase prostate cancer risk.
Testicular cancer, though, predominantly affects younger men in their 20s and 30s, but infants and older men are not risk-free. Early detection leads to better outcomes, so men need to be diligent about doing self-exams, checking for testicular lumps or abnormal swelling, and having a routine wellness appointment with their primary healthcare provider. Knowing your own body helps you recognize changes, and you are your best health advocate.
Ways to Participate
By choosing to grow a mustache in November and making a donation, men create a visual conversation starter that, hopefully, opens the line of communication about health issues, depression, and cancer. But what if you’re a woman? You can participate, too, by committing to run or walk 60 miles during November in honor of the number of men who commit suicide every hour. Create a challenge of your own or host an event to encourage the men in your life to talk about what they’re going through and to support them as much as possible.
At Acca Kappa, we’re supporting the Movember movement and donating 3% of our November sales to the Movember Foundation and encourage you to join the movement to keep men’s health issues front of mind year-round.