“Never doubt that a few people can change the world” – or even get men to talk about their health!
A couple of Australian lads looking to make the mustache (or “Mo” in their slang) fashionable again, persuaded a few friends to join them in not shaving for a cause: men’s health. Specifically prostate cancer, which affects millions of men but gets little publicity. From 30 Mos in 2003, the movement has gone worldwide as “No Shave November” and now raises millions of dollars for prostate cancer research.
Along the way millions of mustaches have been grown.
It’s personal. One out of every six or seven men will get prostate cancer. It is the second-most-diagnosed cancer in men and a leading cause of death. It is as much an epidemic in men as breast cancer is for women. It strikes African Americans harder than white men.
But it is mostly in the shadows.
Men don’t talk about their health the way women do. Especially if it involves sexuality. Except in November, when growing a mustache is a conversation starter.
Auto Logic is hosting a cookout lunch – Brats and keg (root) beer – to kick off this MOvember on Wednesday, Nov. 2, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the shop, 200 W. Main St. in Carrboro. No charge. Donations to the MOvember Foundation are welcome. Join your neighbors, learn about screening, help us “change the face of men’s health.” And enjoy a picnic lunch! Y’all come! And bring a friend.
Diagnosis and screening
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011. At the time I knew almost nothing about my prostate and what it does. Now that it is gone – my “four alarm fire” cancer leading to surgery, radiation and hormone treatment, I understand the role it played and the importance of staying close to your urologist.
Screening is key. The PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test is not definitive, but changes in its level can indicate something may be wrong. Digital exams and, sometimes, periodic biopsies may be needed.
Prostate cancer comes in different forms. Some is so mild that it can stay inactive for years, even decades, without causing problems. But, it can also be aggressive and deadly if not treated. Ignoring it is a mistake. And men can learn a lot from each other’s experience.
Prostate cancer affects men and their partners. Many women support MOvember by joining in events and wearing mustaches. And getting their loved ones screened.
We are fortunate in this area to have major research and treatment centers for prostate cancer at Duke and UNC. We have doctors who are directly involved in the latest research and treatment. The MOvember Foundation supports research with the money it raises.
While MOvember focuses on prostate cancer, it also educates on testicular cancer and depression. Not surprisingly, these conditions are not unrelated.
Since my diagnosis I’ve talked with countless men about screening, diagnosis and treatment. Men, don’t be shy, your life and life style are on the line.
On Nov. 1, I’ll shave my moustache and beard for only the second time in 45 years – the first time was last No Shave November. And then let it grow back for next year.
You can check it out, and donate at us.MOvember.com. Go to “donate,” select “Auto Logic” as your team, and enter “Brats” to get to the event. All donations will go to the MOvember Foundation; Auto Logic picks up the cost of the lunch. Cool T-shirts wil be available, again with all proceeds going to research.
Allen Spalt, Carrboro resident, is a prostate cancer survivor and advocate for men to talk to men about their health. He is grateful he lives in this health-care-rich area.
The lunchtime cookout to benefit prostate cancer research and men’s health will be held from 12-1:30 p.m. today, Nov. 2, at Auto Logic, 200 W. Main St., Carrboro. Donations accepted.