Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Movember for cancer support

Flickr: Raúl Villalón
It's November and since 2003 that can only mean one thing. OK, two things: it's now the 10th so I can stop hiding from kids with 'hilarious' Guy Fawkes jokes (I've heard them before, you don't get to be a 45 year old Guy withoutnthem) - and it's Movember.

This is a relatively new tradition in which a whole bunch of blokes grow a moustache to raise money for research into testicular cancer.

The thing about this cancer is that it's as much a killer as any of the others but because blokes are a bit embarrassed by the thought of checking their whatsits over, they end up with it anyway. There are a few myths worth exploding. First, if you get it and need a surgical removal, you'll survive and you won't be infertile. The father of one of my daughter's friends from school has been affected and his daughter is living proof that the remaining bits are still in perfect working order, thanks. But it's an eminently preventable thing if you detect it early enough and a lot of people are dying too early as a result.

I've left it a bit late to grow a 'tache myself; there are 20 days left and although I'm older now, my efforts at doing so at college have left me with no faith at all in my ability to grow anything other than a multicoloured bit of stubble in that time (much as I did 25 years ago, except there will now be more grey).

But if anyone wants to sponsor someone who's doing so, you can find them through the link above. And of course if you're taking part yourself I'd be delighted if you left a comment with a link on the end of this blog entry.

In the last 40 or so years, a brilliant job has been done raising awareness and reducing some of the numbers for breast cancer, ovarian cancer and a lot of other female-specific cancers (although men can also get breast cancer). It's an excellent example and one that we blokes should make every effort to follow.

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