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Support for medical research into prostate treatments and cures has inspired a host of fundraising efforts during the past several decades. One charitable organization has inspired a movement that has transformed the month of November into “Movember” by encouraging men to grow facial hair. The charitable organization’s website proclaims, “In the month formerly known as November, Mo Bros and Mo Sisters across the world Grow a Mo [mustache].” Men are encouraged to grow creative mustaches to show their support for men’s health and to aid fundraising efforts for medical research.
In many ways, the fight against prostate cancer in the U.S. is an overwhelming success story. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer death rates have declined 51 percent from 1993 to 2016 among U.S. men. Today, there are more than 3 million survivors of prostate cancer living in the U.S.
However, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer remains the most common cancer among men in the U.S. Approximately one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. In 2019, an estimated 174,650 men in this country will be diagnosed with the disease, and 31,620 men will die from it. What’s more, prostate cancer affects racial groups differently; African-American men are consistently diagnosed with prostate cancer at higher rates than white men, and black patients are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as white patients.
Options for treating advanced prostate cancer are expanding with genetic research, which has revealed that the presence of mutations in key genes—including BRCA1 and BRCA2—can make the cancer particularly vulnerable to certain therapies. About one-third of prostate cancer patients have genetic mutations that can be targeted with existing drugs such as PARP.
This November, you can help further such research efforts by doing something relatively small. As Movember.com states, “The men’s health crisis calls for big minds and big solutions. But there’s a smaller, hairier solution to the men’s health crisis. A solution you can grow yourself. It’s sitting under your nose.”