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Movember: Growing a 'Stache for a Cause

Movember — my month long journey of growing a moustache to raise money and awareness for men's cancer

Soup-strainer, crumb catcher, ‘stache, mo, mustache, moustache… there are many names for upper lip hair and they no doubt conjure up memories of cops, firefighters, the Village People, and maybe your creepy uncle. 

I assure you that I am none of the above (unless one of my nieces or nephews is reading this), but I am growing a moustache for the month of “Movember.”

The Movember movement began in Australia in 2003 and has since spread across the globe raising over $126 million in 2011. Every year, men around the world start November 1 clean shaven and grow a glorious moustache to help raise money and awareness for men’s cancer (prostate and testicular). 

As a doctor, I can’t count the number of times I’ve asked a male patient why he came to see me and he tells me some permutation of “my wife made me come” or “my wife was worried about x.”  Let’s face it (pun intended), compared to women, men stink at taking care of their health.  Here are some facts:

  • The average life expectancy for men is five years fewer than women
  • 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35
  • More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the US
  • In 2012, an estimated 13 million or 11.8% of all adult men over the age of 20 in the US have diabetes
  • 24% of men are less likely to go to the doctor compared to women

Studies have shown that many men don’t get regular health screenings for the following reasons:

  • Fear it will lead to a hospital visit
  • Embarrassed to discuss their health issues
  • Find it too hard to see a doctor because they just can’t fit it into their schedule
  • Just can’t be bothered making an appointment

So it’s for all of these reasons (and because I was looking for an excuse for my wife to let me grow a moustache) that I decided to participate in Movember this year.  I must say that I’ve gotten my fair share of strange looks, but I attribute that mostly to the combination of my moustache and my fauxhawk, as they seem to work synergistically. 

However, drawing attention to the moustache is the point. My moustache and I have become a walking, talking billboard for men’s health awareness.

Women, encourage the men in your life to get their annual physical and age appropriate cancer screenings.  Men, listen to the women in your life!

I encourage you to check out the Movember website at http://www.movember.com or you can follow my progress at http://mobro.co/davidnelsen

 

:-{         (moustache smiley)

 

-david

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kris Janisch November 15, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Appreciate the "mustache smiley" David. But where's the pic of your 'stache?
David D. Nelsen November 18, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Ah, there are photos, but you have to go to my Movember page to see them. I will upload one here tomorrow after I've done some grooming!
David D. Nelsen December 01, 2012 at 01:40 AM
I just uploaded a photo from last night's "Stache Bash" to celebrate the end of the month of Movember. Thanks to all for your financial and moral support this month! Look for another blog entry soon: "Chiropractors aren't 'real' doctors"
Kris Janisch December 01, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Awesome David, thanks! Cool pic.

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