As a urologic oncologist, I stand on the receiving end of a remarkable phenomenon. Movember, a brilliant idea hatched in Australia in 2003, encourages men worldwide to “grow a Mo” (a moustache) during the month of November as a vehicle to raise money for research and patient support in the treatment of prostate cancer and for general issues pertaining to men’s health.The idea is simple enough. Guys register at www.movember.com in October and start on November 1 with a clean-shaven face. During the month, they grow and groom their moustaches while raising awareness and money for prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.
Proceeds from the US campaign go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and Livestrong. PCF funds high-impact research to find better treatments and cures for prostate cancer; Livestrong offers services to men with prostate and testicular cancer that help them and their families navigate the best treatment options. Since prostate cancer is my business and my life’s work, I am grateful that the roughly 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer that will be diagnosed in the United States in the coming year—and the 40,000 deaths that will occur from prostate cancer—will be affected in a positive way.
It is one thing for a doctor to pontificate about the need for financial support in the research and treatment of this deadly disease, but it is quite another thing for two guys sitting in a bar in Australia in 2003 to come up with the genius of Movember as a fund-raising vehicle with a twinkle.
Movember raised over $126 million globally during the 2011 campaign and over $15 million in the United States alone. The 2012 goal for the US campaign is projected at $25 million.
Movember participants are known as Mo Bros. The women who support their guys, or just love Mo’s, get involved and are referred to as Mo Sistas. Talk about grassroots support. Fun without running a 10K for dollars—the Aussies got it right.
Since 2003, a new generation of men and women has had its awareness elevated and has begun to take positive action with regard to men’s health, and an enormous amount of money has been raised. A woman would never miss her annual Pap smear and breast examination, but a man must be brought to his urologist kicking and screaming for his annual exam. I guess men are from Mars and women are from Venus.
The Movember movement has changed that mind-set. During the 2011 campaign, there were nearly 30 million visits to the Movember website and nearly 4 billion social media messages worldwide. More than 1.8 billion Facebook users were reached, and more than 110 million tweets on Twitter carried the Movember message around the world. All of this support—just by growing a Mo!
As a health professional, I am ready with my team, Dr. D’s Dudes, to “Mo up” and move the agenda forward in our war to conquer prostate cancer and raise the level of awareness across the board for men’s health issues. To join my team, go to http://us.movember.com/team/461665. A urologic surgeon in a white coat preaching from the mountaintop is not nearly as powerful as the Mo Bros and the Mo Sistas across the globe who grow and support the Mo’s in their lives.
Dudley Seth Danoff, MD, FACS
President and Founder
Cedars-Sinai Tower Urology Group
Author, Penis Power: The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health (Del Monaco Press)
Dudley S. Danoff, MD, FACS is the attending urologic surgeon and founder/president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Tower Urology Group in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of Penis Power: The Ultimate Guide To Male Sexual Health (Del Monaco Press, 2011) and Superpotency (Warner Books).
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