It is the special time of the year when men worldwide skip shaving and grow a mustache or “Mo” from the 1st to the 30th November to spread awareness and raise funds to topple the global men’s health crisis.
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Movember has become the leading charity that funds research and projects that help men recover from testicular cancer, one of the leading preventable causes of death among young men.
From its humble beginnings of thirty participating Mo Brothers in 2003, it has garnered the support of five million people today.
If you have the said disease, or you want to support a loved one who has one, or you are someone who likes to have fun, show off your mustache and do good all at the same time, then you came exactly to the right place.
This article will provide everything you need to know about Movember and its efforts to support men in their journey to recover from testicular cancer.
What is Movember?
Men live five years less than women, primarily due to preventable diseases. Recognizing that men need not die young, Movember was born.
As I said earlier, Movember is a global charity that exists to help men around the world “live happier, healthier and longer lives.” It has initiated and funded 1,250 men’s health projects in twenty countries since its inception in 2003.
Aside from testicular cancer, it also addresses some of the most prevalent health concerns among men today, like mental health, suicide prevention, and prostate cancer.
The Story Behind Movember
Movember, as we know it now, started as a joke over bottles of beer in a gypsy bar in 2003. Australian friends Travis Garone and Luke Slattery challenged each other to resurface the mustache as a fashion trend.
Inspired by their friend’s mother, who was then raising funds for breast cancer, they decided to enlist men to grow their Mo and to advocate for men’s health as their cause.
Over the years, enlisting men to grow their Mo for the whole month of November has become more than just reviving an outdated fashion trend. It became an engaging conversation starter for far more crucial topics involving men’s health and well-being.
Growing a Mo is no longer just about grooming and looks; it entails spreading awareness, raising funds, and involvement in bettering and saving lives.
Movember’s Commitment To Fight Testicular Cancer
One of Movember’s priority health issue is testicular cancer. Worldwide, testicular cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer among men.
In recent years, there has been a rise in testicular cancer cases among younger men, which makes it more alarming. Each year, more than 70,000 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer and around 575,000 men are currently living with or beyond testicular cancer today.
Although it is not one of the most common types of cancer, testicular cancer generally affects men between 15-49 years old. If a parent or family has developed testicular cancer, then genetically, you may be more prone to create this type of cancer yourself.
Also, if you have had testicular cancer in the past, even when cured, you still are at a higher risk of developing it again.
Movember is in the move to save sons, brothers, and fathers and continue to live a fulfilled life. The key here is not to panic but get checked when you observe something off with your body.
What is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that grows in men’s testicles. It usually affects one of the two sacks, but if left untreated, it may cause severe concerns as cancer cells may travel through your bloodstream and infect other organs.
However, if treated early, the survival rate for testicular cancer is high. So checking the early signs of testicular cancer and getting checked by a medical professional is key to preventing testicular cancer from worsening.
Early Signs OF Testicular Cancer
The earliest signs of testicular cancer can be in the form of a , growth in either testicle or even a heavy feeling inside the scrotum. Testicular cancer can also cause a dull ache in the abdomen and/or groin.
Even with the absence of a lump inside the scrotum, you may also want to check for the onset of the collection of fluid in the scrotum, which may cause discomfort or even pain in the testicle or scrotum. Other not-so-prevalent signs may be enlargement or tenderness in the chest or breast area and back pain.
What Should You Do If You Suspect You Have Testicular Cancer?
The most crucial thing in preventing and early detection of testicular cancer is regular checking of your testicles. To check for lumps or growth in the testicles, all you have to do is follow a simple feel test:
1. First, shower with warm or hot water to enable your testicles to rest and, as they say, get in the mood.
2. Second, roll your fingers on each side of the scrotum to get a feel of a normal testicle.
3. Third, if you feel an unusual lump on either side or a sore feeling that wasn’t there before, do not panic. Instead, contact your health professional to get checked.
4. Lastly, remember that aside from getting checked, it is always protocol to seek a second opinion regarding your condition.
Movember’s Efforts To Fight Testicular Cancer
Movember has a three-step approach plan to combat and address testicular cancer:
1. The first is to help the scientific and medical community worldwide with advancing research, detection, and treatment of testicular cancer.
2. The second is to provide proactive support to men and boys around the world, including their families and loved ones, in dealing with testicular cancer.
3. The third is to utilize various platforms to educate and spread awareness on testicular cancer, its risk factors, its early signs, and all available treatment and where to get them.
How Can Movember Support You If You Have Testicular Cancer?
Movember has uploaded report cards on their website on testicular cancer and helplines you can reach to get the help you need for your condition. It has also compiled stories and testimonies of Testicular Cancer survivors regarding their emotional, mental and physical journey toward healing and acceptance.
If you are diagnosed with testicular cancer, you may want to watch the Movember feature story on Mo Brother Ben, a two times testicular cancer survivor.
What Are The Available Treatments For Testicular Cancer?
There are available treatments to cure testicular cancer. One is Orchiectomy, where areas affected with testicular cancer are surgically removed with general anesthesia. Another is Chemotherapy or radiation treatment, which is usually utilized post-surgery to ensure that all cancer cells are neutralized in the body.
It is important to note that removing one or both testicles does not alter one’s sexual ability. Removal of a testicle, research shows, minimally affects one’s ability to reproduce. However, we advise you to talk to your oncologist about the possibility of sperm banking before going with any treatment to cure testicular cancer.
How To Participate In Movember?
Now that you learned about Movember and its commitment to help men survive from testicular cancer, you may ask how can you participate.
Movember succeeded in creating multiple spaces for participation no matter where you live in the globe. They offer three main avenues of participation: Grow a Mo, Move for Movember and Host a Mo-Ment. Each of these activities points to the same direction of saving a bro, and it all starts by simply signing up for Movember.
Grow a Mo
This initiative tracks your own journey of growing a Mo. Participating in the growing a mustache campaign starts with a clean shave on the 1st of November and uploading your progress through your Mo-growing journey.
Grow A Mo Rules
After registration upload your target funds to raise on Movember’s platform, which you can share on various social media accounts for people to donate and help raise awareness about men’s health.
Move for Movember
Run or walk for 60 kilometers and save 60 bros. Like Grow a Mo, tracking your progress for this campaign requires you to track your progress of accomplishing 60kms of running, walking, jogging, or whatever movement you want and uploading it to your Mo Space.
To start, you must sign up for this initiative and connect your fitness app to your personal Mo-Space. It will enable Movember App to keep track of your physical progress. You can ask your friends and family to move with you and link up their account to Movember to save our bros.
Host a Mo-Ment
Making an event has never been this easy and fulfilling. Hosting a Mo-Ment allows you to host your own event while raising awareness and raising funds for bros in need around the world. The key here is making the event enough to attract more participants to your event.
Your events can also be in physical or virtual attendance. You can do a wide array of events, from a cooking party, watch party, discussion, games, or whatever interests you and your friends. Learn more about hosting a Mo-ment here!
Be Part Of Movember
Let us continue to spread awareness and support friends, sons, brothers, and fathers all throughout their journey to recover from testicular cancer. May we continue to not only grow Mo but in numbers as well to help men all around the world achieve a full and happy life.
Diana used to work as an Assistant Salon Manager in Los Angeles, CA before she started writing for Union of Barbers. With over 10 years of experience, she has tried hundreds of hair care products and has seen, styled, and treated all types of hair. Now, she shares all of the things she has learned in the hair industry and gives advice on everything about hair. When she’s not writing, you can find Diana at the beach on her yoga mat!