In case you were wondering why some of your usually smooth-top-lipped friends are currently sporting (or trying to sport!) a moustache, the answer is very simple: Movember. The Prostate Cancer Charity, together with the Everyman Campaign to stamp out prostate and testicular cancer, have hijacked the month formerly known as November to “change the face of men’s health” by raising awareness of male cancers and health issues, and to fund research into these life-threatening diseases.
Movember has happened every November since 2004 and has been incredibly popular in Australia, where the Aussie cricket team have championed the cause for a number of years, but it’s only just starting to make waves here in the UK. This year, Kevin Pietersen and a handful of UK celebrities including Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs and Chris Wolstenholme from the band Muse are donating their face to this worthwhile charity.
The prostate is a gland that produces prostatic fluid, a liquid that mixes with sperm to nourish it and help it on its way to fertilisation. Prostate cancer, where the DNA in the cells of the prostate gland becomes mutated and causes the cells to grow into a tumour, is the most common male cancer in the UK. Approximately 36,000 new diagnoses of prostate cancer are made every year, with an estimated quarter of a million men living with the disease right now. Because the prostate is located inside the body, it’s hard to tell if it has become cancerous, so while, in theory, simple removal of the prostate can cure the disease, it’s often too late and the cancer has spread by the time it is discovered.
It’s essential, therefore, that a cure is found for this often fatal condition but because it deals with, y’know, man’s bits, people don’t often like to talk about it. That’s where Movember comes in. It’s like wearing a pink ribbon to show support for breast cancer research charities, but the ribbon is on your face (and in my boyfriend Tom’s case, it’s ginger, not pink)!
Speaking of Tom he’s currently midway through Movember, where the aim is to start the month clean shaven and cultivate your mo’ as the month mo-gresses. He’s going for a White-Goodman-from-Dodgeball half-handlebar look, which as a proud mo’ sista, I think really captures the essense of Movember! You can check his mo-gress, and maybe even sponsor him here.