Mo‘tivating’ Movember

City blokes are out to break down one of the biggest taboos around men’s health by allowing their facial hair to grow this Movember

Updated - November 21, 2014 06:52 pm IST

Published - November 21, 2014 06:49 pm IST

It is one of those highly contagious factors now. Love it or loathe it, its novel concept, the stories weaving around it, the YouTube videos going viral enhance people’s urge to share it, both on and off line.

The ongoing Movember campaign has taken off well not just in the Western world but also in India and even Vijayawada city which has garnered a good number of supporters for the cause.

The basic funda seems to be simple; whenever you make the private public, you’ll increase the chance that people imitate that behaviour. 

The Movember movement is a case in point. Prostate cancer, also known as carcinoma of the prostate, is the development of cancer in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system

By encouraging men (who the charity refers to as “Mo Bros”) to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Started in Australia by two brothers in 2003, the month of November was renamed as Movember and on the 1 of this month, men register at the > website with a clean-shaven face and grow their moustache over the month. In keeping with the Movember tradition, many city studs are sporting whiskers and twirling them in style even while spreading its significant message.

“Last year, I came to know about this movement from one of my friends and this year I am part of it. It’s a cool thing to sport a new look by growing a moustache and a stubble and raise curious glances of people around who can’t resist asking you about it. That’s how the message spreads. In the college, I had slight problem with a few teachers who frowned at my facial hair. When I explained them the concept, the frowns turned into smiles,” says a beaming Janaki Raghu Ram, a final year engineering student from PVP Siddhartha Engineering College.

Koundinya Dhulipalla, a visual communication student from Andhra Loyola College, was never a clean-shaven. “Last year in November, one of my friends met me after a long gap and asked me if I was sporting stubble for Movember campaign. I grew curious and learnt all about it to be able to propagate the message to others,” he says. “It feels good to be part of this campaign to raise awareness on such important issue. Men have a tendency to kind of forget about their health aspects,” says Manoj Balla, a budding engineer.

“Prostate cancer is more of a socio-economic, slow progressing disease. Once known to be the disease of developed countries, its incidence is gradually on the rise in India. The awareness level is abysmal which is why most prostate cases land at the physician’s clinic in advanced stage,” rues city-based oncologist A. Y. Rao. Referring to the Movember campaign, he calls it a ‘need of the hour’.

Informing about the causes for prostrate cancer, he says hormonal factors, obesity, dietary habits, less intake of fibre content are the risk factors and goes on to add: “Only educated sections have some idea about it. A large chunk of patients dismiss the symptoms as part of natural aging process.”

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