‘Movember’ Kicks Off Awareness For Men’s Health

November has been transformed into Movember to raise awareness for men’s health problems, especially prostate and testicular cancer.

The campaign is encouraging men to grow mustaches (‘Mo’s”) throughout the month of November to change “the face of men’s health” and spread awareness about men’s issues, reports CBS News. The Movember campaign’s website reads:

“Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.”

Men who are participating in the Movember campaign are asked to shave their mustaches and beards on November 1 and not shave again until December. They are encouraged to get their friends, family, and colleagues to donate to their efforts.

The Movember 2012 campaign is partnering with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the LIVESTRONG Foundation. All donations will directly fund research on prostate and testicular cancers, as well as other men’s support programs.

Almost 242,000 men in the US are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, along with more than 28,000 deaths. Testicular cancer sees about 8,500 new cases per year, with more than 350 deaths.

The Examiner notes that 2012 is the sixth year for the Movember campaign in the US, though it is a worldwide effort. Last year more than 145,000 Americans were able to raise over $15 million.

The campaign began in Melbourne, Australia, in 2003 by two guys trying to bring the mustache back into fashion. The following year, Movember teamed up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and became a charitable organization.

While Movember may not be a nationally recognized name for the month of November, it is still a growing movement to raise awareness for men’s health.