Gentlemen, get ready to park your razors.
Movember, the annual prostate cancer awareness and fundraising campaign, kicks of Nov. 1. And that means for the following 30 days, thousands of men around Winnipeg and countless more around the world, will start the month clean-shaven and grow a moustache -- or "mo" -- to support much-needed research.
'It's certainly an initiative that is growing globally. We're seeing the numbers locally increase dramatically year on year' -- Jeff Palson, co-chairman of Movember Winnipeg
Movember Winnipeg's goal is to raise more than $1 million, up from $975,000 last year, and exceed 10,000 "mo-bros" and "mo-sisters" registered at Movember.com, up from 7,700 in 2012.
"It's certainly an initiative that is growing globally. We're seeing the numbers locally increase dramatically year on year," said Jeff Palson, co-chairman of Movember Winnipeg.
(A mo-bro usually refers to a man who grows a moustache during the month, while a mo-sister is a woman who supports the cause or urges the man or men in her life to get on board and grow one.)
Dr. Darrel Drachenberg, a urologic oncologist at CancerCare Manitoba, said prostate cancer is the No. 1 cancer in men that isn't a skin cancer and it's the No. 2 cancer killer of men, usually when they're middle aged or older.
"Up to 30 per cent of men in their lifetime will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Some (forms) are not very aggressive but some are quite aggressive. Between one in 25 and one in 30 men will die of prostate cancer in their lifetimes," he said.
Unlike breast cancer, there are no self-examinations for prostate cancer, so Drachenberg recommends visiting your doctor on at least an annual basis and preferably semi-annually. Doctors find PSA tests and rectal exams are the best tools for early detection.
"Often, (a man's) partner will prompt him. Men are very stoic and they really don't like talking about that area of the body," said Drachenberg.
Winnipeg is considered a centre of excellence for prostate cancer research.
"We're the only centre in Canada that offers every treatment option for prostate cancer. We're looking at circulating tumour cells in men with prostate cancer and their risks down the road for their cancer to spread," he said.
"It's a great time to be a prostate-cancer researcher with all of the visibility, support and infrastructure that we have here," he said.
Palson said you shouldn't worry what your mustache will look like.
"That's all part of the cause and the fun of being part of Movember. Whether you grow something thick and bushy or thin and wispy doesn't make a difference. It's about feeling part of the team," he said.