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Published on November 16, 2012

What Is This Movember Thing?

As you walk around this month, you see those guys with fuzzy, sketchy looking mustaches. What are they thinking?

And then you hear people mention “Movember,” and you have no idea what they’re talking about. What gives?

Yes, they go together.

Movember is a movement that raises money for and awareness of men’s health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancer. That’s a great cause! Especially when you consider the evidence that tells us that men tend to avoid doctor’s visits.

The primary goals of Movember are to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides getting an annual check-up, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of any family history of cancer, and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

It started in Australia back in 1999, when a small group of well-intentioned friends got together to grow mustaches to raise money for charity. The idea sprung from the same well of invention that many great ideas spring from – a night at a pub. Five years later, another Australian group of 30 men grew mustaches for 30 days to raise money for charity. It was a big hit, and ultimately became the Movember Foundation. Since then, the Movember Foundation has raised $174 million, and is considered one of the biggest charities in the world.

How can you get involved?

  • Stop shaving! It isn’t too late to join in and become a “Mo Bro.” Just sign up and start raising money.
  • Start a corporate team. Movember has become a very popular charitable effort for businesses. It’s a hip team-building exercise – everyone gets to chuckle at co-workers’ hideous facial hair.
  • Donate. Go to the Movember website and make a donation. And plan ahead better next year.
  • Become a Mo Sista. Incapable of growing a mustache because you happen to be female? You can register to be a Mo Sista and raise money.
  • Hold an event. You’re too late to have a launch party, but how about an end of November Shave-Off?  The Movember Foundation will send you a party pack to make it extra cool.

Joining in the Movember movement is a great idea for men who want to raise awareness of critical health issues. Another benefit is that you don’t have to shave for a month. Of course, your mother-in-law might not quite be pleased at that caterpillar on your lip across the Thanksgiving dinner table.

But just tell her it’s for a good cause.

For more information about Crozer-Keystone Health System cancer services, visit http://ckcancer.crozerkeystone.org. You can also call 1-866-695-HOPE (4673) to request an appointment with a physician who cares for cancer patients.

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