TOMS + Movember 2012 = Raising Awareness for Men’s Health
If you are interested in raising awareness for men’s health, then why not grow a moustache this November? Whether you are able to grow a thick bushy one, or a mere stubbly remnant of one, if you grow a mustache you will automatically be taking part in the global movement ‘Movember’ which is designed to raise awareness for men’s health, particularly testicular cancer and prostate cancer, and to raise funds for charities, medicine and research.
What is Movember + TOMS Collaboration?
Movember is an awareness campaign with one simple mission statement – for all men to have a shave at the start of November, and then grow a moustache throughout the month – not a beard or a goatee, but a pure moustache with the rest of the face clean-shaven. Movember has always been an awareness campaign, and not a fashion-trend-turned-campaign as many people wrongly think.
Movember had modest beginnings as a small campaign in Melbourne, Australia in 2003. Now it is global with official campaigns all over Europe, Africa and North America, unofficial support elsewhere, and in partnership with the charity business TOMS, who sell shoes and eyewear and make donations for every product they sell. Supporters and fellow organizations (like us here at AutismUnited.org) can register with the Movember.com platform to fund-raise, and last year, over 850,000 registrants helped to raise more than $125 million for the cause.
Promoting Men’s Health
Awareness over male health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer is extremely important. Prostate cancer is the 5th most common cancer across both the sexes and the 2nd commonest cancer in men. 900,000 men were diagnosed globally with the disease in 2008, and an estimated 258,000 men died of the disease. Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer, accounting for less than 1% off all cancers, but spreads quickly and can be deadly for those that contract the disease.
Despite the high mortality rates associated with male cancers, much can be done to swing the balance in our favor and reduce the impact of these cancers. The most important first steps are education, understanding and awareness. For example, men are often not comfortable with talking about prostate health, and are unwilling to undertake simple procedures to ensure they are in the clear. Ignorance is bliss, but this ignorance often leads to a far smaller chance of survival if a cancer is diagnosed, as in such cases it is often diagnosed too late with the cancer already spreading. All in all, average male mortality rates are much lower than women because of death from illnesses that are preventable.
Overall, men have a lot to learn when it comes to preventative health, and helping men learn and understand issues like the ones above is crucial in tackling the problem. Further highlighting the issues through education and conversation is the core aim of Movember. An estimated 1.9 billion conversations about men’s health were made last Movember, and with your support, further conversations can be made, money donated and funds raised in the name of men’s health.