Since its inception in 2003, Movember has quickly become the hairiest and one of the world’s largest men’s health foundations driving awareness and raising funds to support men’s prostate and testicular cancer, as well as mental health and suicide prevention.
This year, along with encouraging men to grow facial hair in support of the work, the cause is also focusing on their 2016 campaign message: Stop Men Dying Too Young. Here’s what Kevin Edwards, Movember Canada’s country director has to say about joining the fight.
How can men participate?
This year, there are three ways to jump in and you guessed it, the first is to grow a moustache, beard or anything in between. Already sporting a hipster vibe? Shave it off to show your allegiance. Second, “set a physical fitness goal for the month of Movember,” says Edwards. “It can be big (run a marathon), brave (trying a new workout or activity), or bold (doing a run in costume).” Third, register to Host a Movember Party and raise funds through your event. “We think it is incredibly important for everyone to get involved in conversations about men’s health and these three options are made to be as inclusive as possible.”
Why you should join in?
According to the Movember Foundation, in Canada prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men with one in eight diagnosed before the age of 75 years. That’s 11 men dying from prostrate cancer every day. In 2015, an additional 1,050 men were diagnosed with testicular cancer, alone. Plus, one out of five Canadians will experience mental health problems each year with an average of seven men dying by suicide every single day. Enough said.
Should men be like Ben Stiller and come forward?
Opening up about your experience with prostate and testicular cancer is a personal choice. That said, Ben Stiller’s honesty about his battle “provides really great, public insight into a disease that faces some stigma,” says Edwards. “The fact that he is so young also raises a great point: men need to take their health into their own hands and proactively get checked. Early detection and awareness of the disease are key.”
What is Movember’s greatest achievement to date and why?
“Since 2003, we have raised $850 million globally and funded over 1,200 projects in 21 countries,” says Edwards. “With every dollar raised we are helping men around the world live happier, healthier, longer lives.”