Mo’. ‘Tache. Face-fungus. The Snor was seriously back in style...for one month only. Movember is the international moustache-growing event held each November to raise funds and awareness for men’s health.
Participants, or "Mo Bros" as some choose to call themselves, were supporting Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) campaigns against prostate and testicular cancer.
Decent clean-shaven South African gents like these Health24 staffers used their razors sparingly in November - not only to draw attention to themselves, but to the importance of detecting such cancers early.
Upper lips we watched closely for developments this month:
(Here they are cleanshaven and at two weeks)
To be quite honest, I’ve never really given a whole lot of thought to prostate and testicular cancer until now, but I turned 40 earlier this year and I know it’s time to start looking after my body more conscientiously.
So I’m growing a ‘tache this month as I reminder to myself that it’s time to start going for regular check-ups. I’m also doing it to help raise awareness among other men, because, let’s face it, prostate and testicular cancer are not exactly things we talk about enough."
- Andreas Späth, Man Zone Editor, Health24
“My father works as a male nurse and my mother’s a midwife, so they kept me aware of health issues through out my teenage years and because of their involvement in my life I know about the importance of regular checks. But at my age I still think ‘it can’t happen to me’.
There’s no point being paranoid about cancer, but it’s good to get involved in these events. Earlier this year I shaved my head (For the CANSA Shavathon).”
- Denzil Daniels, Multimedia specialist, Health24
"But I've never tried growing one before! What if I try and then...nothing??
Seriously, though: I wholeheartedly support the campaign. These cancers are more common than one thinks and it’s important to raise the awareness thereof."
- Danie Pauw, Managing Director, Health24
What it's all really in aid of
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among males: one in 23 South African men will get it in the course of their lifetimes. Risk is greatest for those over 50.
Testicular cancer is much rarer but is the most common cancer for men aged 15 to 35.
What to do about it
Know your body and all its familiar flaws and foibles, so you’re aware of any changes that could spell trouble.
Consult your doctor without delay if you notice any of these symptoms, which may indicate prostate cancer:
- Difficulty passing urine
- Frequent need to urinate
- Difficulty starting and stopping the urinary stream
- Blood in the urine
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Pain in the lower back, upper thighs or pelvic area
Or these symptoms, which may indicate testicular cancer:
- A hard pea-sized lump on the front or side of the testicle
- Enlargement or heaviness of the testicle
- Accumulation of fluid in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the groin
If you’re aged 15 to 40 you should also examine your testicles each month to feel for any lumps or other changes.
If you’re over 50, you should have a prostate exam once a year, plus a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test – a simple screening test that checks for the presence of a protein that may indicate prostate cancer.
For some light relief from the prospect of proctology exams, you can also try out CANSA’s new “P-Ball”. This is a small biodegradable ball that you place in a urinal and then aim to destroy in the shortest possible time with your urine stream. A weak urine stream (and a consequently low P-Ball score) may be a warning sign of prostate cancer.
Other brave Mo' Bro's who publicly joined the cause on Health24:
"I have a buddy at my workplace who convinced me to join, and so the cultivation has begun in earnest. I am going for the traditional 80's SAPD look, broom with no bars... ;-)
I have never seriously grown facial hair except for a laugh now and then, like when on holiday etc. It will be very interesting to see what I can conjure up in a month, and it is for a great cause!!!"
- Dirk van Heerden works for Allen Gray in Cape Town.
Andrew "Tank" Lanning, Managing Editor of Sport24, has had a beard for a while, and simply trimmed it on 1 November to create an instant 'tache.
Certain other participants, who are struggling to sprout any manly bristles worth mentioning, have pointed out that this is blatant disregard of the Movember rules and possibly an attempt to cast aspersions on their masculinity.
Nicholas Hodge and Gavin Ruiters, Account Managers for Sales at 24.com, had the following to say: "I keep rollin, they keep hating" (Gavin) and “E = MCMovember” (Nicholas).
We aren't sure what they mean by this either, but what is certain is that they are enjoying just how disreputable their new 'taches make them look.
Steve Crouse, Head of Marketing & Business Development at Stanlib in Johannesburg, has remained true to the cause despite the fact that his wife now refuses to kiss him goodnight:
"The mo is coming on strong and I’m looking forward to this becoming bigger and better next year!!"
He also demands that we make much more noise about this next year and get more men involved.
"Health24's Mostest Mo' 2010" is already in the works Steve...
(- Olivia Rose-Innes, Health24, November 2009)