This month, I have been growing a moustache for Movember. Movember helps to raise awareness of and provide money to support research into men’s health, particularly prostate cancer.
My own particular inspiration for doing this is my Grandfather, who died in 2008 from a prostate cancer related illness at the age of 81. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer a number of years beforehand; for a long time it was under control and didn’t spread. However, when it finally did spread, his decline was quick and it was very hard for everyone who loved him to see. Of course, losing loved ones is always hard, it isn’t a story unique to me or my family. There are other diseases that are far harder to deal with and at much younger ages as well. However, this is my story, so that is what I’m telling.
The thing with prostate cancer is that it affects far more people than you might think, yet much less money is spent on researching it. 24% of all cancers diagnosed in men is prostate cancer. It is estimated from post-mortem evidence that 80% of men aged 80 have evidence of cancer in the prostate. Most of the time, this isn’t what kills them, but it should be clear that the evidence shows that as men ages, their chance of being affected by it increases drastically. The rate of incidence triples from 151 per 100,000 in the 55-59 age range to 515 per 100,000 10 years later. Average life expectancy increases by a year every 4-5 years, so the number of people affected by prostate cancer can only increase. My grandfather perfectly demonstrated this by saying on his 80th birthday that he was surprised to be celebrating it, because no one in his family had made it to that age before. People are living longer, so we have to deal with the diseases that affect them.
Just 7.9% of cancer research spending in the UK is spent on prostate cancer. To help increase this, I’ve donated my top lip for the whole month of November, or Movember as it is now known. You can donate via my Mospace page, anything you can give will be much appreciated: http://uk.movember.com/mospace/1238756
You can read more about prostate cancer here: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/prostate/
…and yes, that really is a whole month of moustache growth for me. I blame my genes.