Moustaches Against Cancer

Anna Nguyen/New University

By Marko Ocampo

It’s that time of year again where  beards and mustaches are on the rise. This month is dedicated to No Shave November (or Movember), but did you know this yearly manly tradition shares  ties with a greater cause rather than simply allowing your razor to rust its blades away?

Like most months, November is dedicated to a type of health awareness, just as October is dedicated to breast cancer; November is dedicated to Prostate Cancer. Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men with 240,890 cases for 2011 and 33,720 deaths.

Fortunately there are organizations and universities who are reaching out by taking part in research. During this month they encourage men and women everywhere for donations to this cause.

No Shave Movember is a worldwide movement to raise awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer across the globe. It consists of a one-month race to see who can raise the most money, awareness and spirit with their mustaches. Guys are motivated to create a page on the website, www.movember.com and create a profile called a “Mo Space.” Through their profile,  they can update pictures of their progress and why they decided to be part of this powerful movement. Guys can join teams and create a bigger impact and are inspired furthermore with recognition and prizes provided by the website.

The website Movember.com promotes taking care of the ’stache  during the month — the mustache is encouraged to be styled and cared for as it grows. Small prizes and recognitions are awarded to those with the best Mo Space as well as to the teams who help raise the most money. I got a Mo Space to put up my progress and hopefully get some donations. In the past I’ve managed to get up to $10 GBP but maybe this year, I can get more.

As a way to raise awareness, No Shave November has become a means for men to rally and advocate for a cure through prostate cancer research.  This is the reason why I joined with my fellow Mo Bros to raise money last year. Unfortunately, my facial hair growing capabilities are a bit weak, so this year, rather than joining in the race to no shaving solo, I have once again teamed up with my fellow Mo Bro teams online.

Who have I teamed up with this year? Well, being the Muse fan that I am, I will be joining my favorite bass player, Chris Wolstenholme, in his race to raise money. And our team consists of roughly 170 people have raised 564 British pounds. Last year we managed to raise over 6,000 pounds

Ladies may be pleased to know that you can also join this race. Not by growing a mustache particularly but by supporting your fellow bros in their pursuit for a cure. “Mo Sistas” can help by being supportive, just like the guys who love to support breast cancer.

So next time you look at someone with a ’stache this month, think twice before jumping to the conclusion that he is just being lazy. He may very well be one of the thousands of men trying to raise money and promote awareness to this cause.   Here is a message for the ladies (including my own lady friend): please allow us to be manly this month and advocate for something meaningful. Prostate cancer affects us men in our later stages of our life and it is not pretty. Trust me, I’ve seen it.