You almost have to be living under a rock not to have heard something about Movember in the past two weeks. It’s not just an excuse for someone to grow an ironic mustache for 30 days. What it’s supposed to be about drawing attention to a major affliction to men over the age of 40 & a particular cause of cancer that men aren’t particularly comfortable talking about. I’m talking about prostate cancer. And while I know there are a lot of lovely ladies out there who read this blog, I know that most of the time, I’m speaking to dudes and that’s who needs to listen up when it comes to prostate cancer awareness.
None of us are getting any younger. And by the time the big 4-0 hits, you need to start getting checked once a year for prostate cancer. Yes, it’s uncomfortable but it is much easier and quicker than it used to be. It’s also much easier to talk about thanks to projects like Movember, that puts a fun, manly spin on a serious subject.
Today on The List I’m going to run down some things you might not know about one of the biggest cancer killers.
1) The Numbers Behind Prostate Cancer Are Huge & Startling
According to the Calgary Prostate Cancer Center an estimated 25,000 men will be diagnosed and 4100 will die of it this year. That’s 490 men every week across Canada getting diagnosed and 77 men a month passing away. That’s more men than the Saddledome can hold every year getting the bad news and four sold out shows at Mac Hall dying every year. That sucks. One in 7 men in Alberta will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
2) Getting Checked Is Easy
When most guys think of getting checked for prostate cancer, they think they’re getting “the finger” “you know where”. That’s not the case. Thanks to new technology, it’s as simple as getting the PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen test. It’s essentially a blood test and it’s so simple it can be carried out in the Calgary Prostate Cancer Center’s Man Van. What, are you afraid of a needle?
3) Movember Isn’t About Hipsters
Since 1999 men in Australia have used Movember as a method to raise money for various causes. In 2004 a group of dudes got together to raise money for prostate cancer awareness and research and the Movember as we know in Canada was well underway. This year there are 1 million “Mo Bros” registered at Movember.com raising money around the world. Canada alone has raised over 15 million dollars in one of the funnest fundraisers going. If you grew a mustache because it’s Movember and you didn’t raise any money….not cool. (Hell, I can’t grow a mustache and that’s why we do Team Mohawk. We’re up over $700! Way to go punx!)
4) Early Detection = Increased Survivability
Prostate cancer has a very high survivability rate if it’s detected early. It’s really easy to get checked, so the more you do it, the better the odds you have. Many men die in their 70′s without ever knowing they had it until it’s too late.
5) Doing It Can Decrease The Risk
How can you prevent getting prostate cancer? In addition to a healthy lifestyle (take it easy on red meat, junk food, smoking and booze), frequent ejaculation keeps the prostate working and healthy. So whether you’re rubbing one out for prevention, or telling your partner that you need to do it tonight to say healthy, snapping one off can help prevent the big C.
6) Famous Men Have Had It
Here’a quick run down of famous dudes (many of them macho men!) who have had prostate cancer:
Robert Deniro (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas)
Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider, Rumble Fish, Apocalypse Now et al died in 2010 as a result)
Jerry Orbach (Det. Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order)
Arnold Palmer (legendary golfer)
Charlton Heston (Moses, the NRA guy)
Alec Guinnes (Obi Wan Kenobi!)
James Brown (The Godfather Of Soul)
7) It’s Easy To Spread The Word, Help Out and Donate
For starters, talk to the men over 40 in your life about getting checked for prostate cancer. It’s a simple dialog. Your dad, husband, brother, buddy, whatever. Get on their case about it. Go with a friend. Just start talking about it. There’s lots of events going on all over the city this month, from the various Movember parties, to the massive #nakedespy party in Inglewood on Saturday (the man van will be there. Come get checked. I’ll be there too. If you get checked, I’ll buy you a beer!) it’s a great way to open up a conversation about a huge killer. Talking leads to awareness. Awareness leads to increased health. It’s simple.