Each November men around the world unite to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer. Men commit to beginning November clean-shaven, and ending the month with a moustache. (In Australia, where Movember began, moustaches are known as “Mos,” thus leading to the name “Movember”) Men, who are known as Mo Bros, raise funds by encouraging friends and family members to donate to their moustache growing efforts. Mo Bros can register online, and their supporters donate directly to the Movember Foundation. In 2009 more than 250,000 people participated, ultimately raising around $40 million (Fig. 1). Movember is near and dear to my heart as not only does my father have a full beard year round (in my 22 years I've never seen his chin) but his father (my grandfather) is a prostate cancer survivor.
Figure 1: Money raised in the six countries that participate in Movevember.
Why Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, trailing only behind lung cancer. In the United States alone about 217,730 new cases are diagnosed each year, and about 32,050 men die each year. 1 in 6 men can expect to be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetimes and around 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.
What Kind of Research Does Movember Fund?
Movember provides unrestricted research funds to various beneficiary partners. Fundraising in the United States benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG. One of Movember’s goals is to encourage high-risk/high-reward projects that might otherwise go unfunded. One such project was spearheaded by Levi A. Garraway and resulted in the paper reviewed on this website, “The Genomic Complexity of Human Prostate Cancer.”