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Movember - what it's all about

Published: 31 Oct 2014

Movember is an international campaign that involves participants grooming their facial hair and raising money for charity.

However, there is so much more to it than this - but not everyone realises the true message behind an awareness initiative that is ultimately aiming to save lives.

So, what is Movember all about? And do people know enough about the issues it is trying to tackle?

Movember and men's health

The main focus of Movember is to get people talking about men's health issues - primarily prostate and testicular cancer.

"Knowledge is power. Prevention is everything. Early detection is key," the Movember organisers say on their official website.

While some people might think Movember is all about growing a silly moustache and raising money for a good cause, its real mission is about changing attitudes.

How does Movember raise awareness of cancer?

The growing of facial hair is effectively an 'ice-breaker' for men to talk about issues they might otherwise never open up about to other males and - perhaps more importantly - their GPs.

As well as encouraging participants to talk about their own health and pose questions they might have previously felt uncomfortable about asking, the organisation offers a wide range of resources with key details on how to spot the early symptoms of cancer.

In addition to the main website, Movember has its own smartphone application for the first time this year, which not only lets users track how much money they're raising for the cause, but also allows them to access information on the subject.

Why men's health?

Movember started when some friends in Australia began growing their moustaches following a conversation about bringing the trend of facial hair back into fashion.

Initially inspired by one of the group's mum's breast cancer fundraising effort, the campaign began by charging AU$10 (£5.50) to "grow a Mo", with the proceeds going towards the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Their idea skyrocketed in a relatively short space of time - and has become an international phenomenon in just ten years.

According to the Movember organisation, one man dies from prostate cancer every hour in the UK, while one in eight males will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their life.

Educating people on how to spot the signs as early as possible is crucial in improving survival rates of the disease, while men are traditionally more reluctant to speak to their doctor about their concerns.

With Movember being a popular movement this time of year, you may find this increases awareness of PMI amongst your clients.

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