Movember Wrap-Up: An Ounce of Prevention

Movember has come and gone, and with it, a flurry of facial-hair growing activity. As promised, I am posting photos of the evolution of Anthony’s mustache. Congratulations to Anthony and his team, The Wade Boggs All-Stars for raising $7,817 and awareness about the dangers of bad facial hair, I mean, men’s health, in the month of November!

In my last Movember post , I talked about some of the risk factors for developing prostate cancer. In this post I will talk about some things you can do to help prevent it. Having watched a friend, a renowned medical researcher go through the frustration of wading through conflicting research and professional opinions, it appears that there currently is no one clear path to preventing prostate cancer. However, you can do your best to be healthy overall, and avoid certain things that are thought to contribute to the development of prostate cancer. I’ve compiled the following information from the Mayo Clinic, LiveStrong, Movember and President’s Cancer Panel websites.

  1. Eat the Right Things. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, which should be the main part of your diet. For protein, include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, legumes, eggs, and nuts. The fat you eat should be from plant sources, rather than animals. And avoid processed foods with trans-fats, sodium, enriched flour, and refined sugars. It is also a good idea to limit the amount of dairy products and red meat you consume. For more details, see LiveStrong’s list of foods to avoid.
  2. Watch What You Drink. Green tea is full of anti-oxidants and has been found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. And alcohol has been linked to all types of cancer, so it is best to limit yourself to no more than one or two drinks per day, if at all. . A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
  3. Breathe. First of all, don’t smoke. It’s undeniably related to cancer, not just of the lungs. Also, remember to breathe. Stress and the accompanying biochemicals it creates in your body have been found to contribute to all types of chronic illness. So learn some techniques, like meditation and visualization, for controlling your stress.
  4. Move It! Men who exercise regularly have a reduced risk of prostate cancer, along with other chronic illnesses. If you don’t currently exercise, start out slow and work your way up to the optimal 30 minutes minimum per day.
  5. Avoid Those Chemicals. Do your best to limit your exposure to Cadmium, Dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), bisphenol A (BPA), all of which are suspected of causing cancer in general, and prostate cancer in particular. BPAs and other chemicals are capable of mimicking human hormones and are suspected of causing prostate and testicular cancer. In a recent study, BPA was found to cause biochemical changes in prostate tumor cells in a laboratory setting. Avoid chemical pesticides, too. An NIH Agricultural Health study found that farmers, men who worked as pesticide applicators, and men who manufacture pesticides have a significantly higher risk for prostate cancer. The Environmental Working Group has information on other environmental toxins that are suspected of contributing to cancer.
Now, to get back to the fun stuff. To wrap up their month of serious facial-hair growing and awareness raising, Mo participants all over the world hosted Mo Galas last week to celebrate their success.  Here are some photos from the Washington, DC festivities. And, as promised, here are the photos of my Mo friend, Anthony, in the second half of his mustache-growing-for-charity adventure.

Anthony: Movember, Day 15.

Here is Anthony on Movember, Day 15. He mustache seems to say, “Hey, can I interest you in a used car?”

Anthony: Movember, Day 30

And here is Super Mario, I mean Anthony, on Movember, Day 30! Congratulations, Anthony! Now, can I interest you in some all-natural, vegan, toxin-free men’s grooming products?

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Movember

image copyright Movember.com

Movember is like a walkathon, but instead of walking, men grow our their facial hair to help raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. I first heard of Movember 2 years ago when a friend grew some gnarly facial hair throughout the month of November. Because he did it to raise awareness about a disease that had affected her father and taken the life of a family friend, she supported him. Still, she was incredibly happy when December 1st arrived and he reverted to his clean-shaven self.

According to the Movember website, “Via the moustache, Movember aims to fulfill its vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health by continuing to spark conversation and spread awareness of men’s health issues each year.” I was really happy to learn about this effort. Prostate cancer rates are on par with breast cancer rates (according to the American Cancer Society, in 2008 the incidence rate for breast cancer in women was 2,632,000 and prostate cancer was 2,355,000), yet the general public receives very little education about this disease. Men’s health issues, in general, are far behind women’s health issues in terms of awareness. Movember is a fun way to get the conversation going.

a satisfied MAN moustache pomade customer

Here’s how it works. On November 1st, participants can register at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face. Throughout the month, these men grow their mustaches, or other facial hair, into whatever configuration they are able to. During this time, they seek sponsorship for their efforts. As the Movember website points out, “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.” On November 30th, Mo Bros celebrate their month-long efforts by throwing a Movember party or attending one of the galas held around the world by Movember, for Movember.

Money raised during Movember is donated to the Prostate Cancer FoundationLIVESTRONG and Movember’s awareness and education program. You can see a detailed accounting of their fund allocations on the Movember website. To find out more about how you can get involved, check out the Movember website.

In honor of Movember, Thrillist has created a wonderful Movember Grooming Guide that includes Herban Lifestyle’s MAN Grooming Set and The Modern Man, Portland, OR, our new brick and mortar friend!

nifty mustachioed pouch made with repurposed fabric by UnraveledRevelry