By Stefanie Bainum
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – You might have noticed a boom in facial hair this month. It's less of a fashion statement and more of a medical statement.
It's called Movember, the "Mo" is short for moustache, and it's all about raising awareness for prostate cancer during the month of November.
The Movement was started in Australia in 2004 and has already more than 1.9 million people participating in the cause around the world, according to the Movember national website.
The goal is to grow a mustache to get people talking about the sometimes uncomfortable topic of prostate cancer.
"This is an opportunity to approach men in a non-confrontational way to allow them to research and empower themselves to decide about their own health," said Dr. Theodore Brisson, Urologic Surgeon at Trident Health. "Hopefully, men will be more likely to talk about this with their doctor and their primary care doctor the more they know about it."
"I think ultimately that is the goal to let men make an informed decision about what health care screening and testing they want to have," he added.
According to Brisson, prostate cancer is the No. 2 killer of men in terms of cancer in the country with 250,000 men a year being diagnosed and 30,000 of men dying each year.
Founders of the Movember movement hope to change the face of men's health, both literally and figuratively, in changing the stigma's and attitudes towards men's health.
"Studies show that women are more likely to go to the doctor and get regular check-ups than men," Brisson said.
Brisson is participating in the Movember movement himself and says it's a great conversation piece in the clinic to make men more aware of getting screened.
"There's been a big debate lately about whether we should be screening for prostate cancer so I think that this Movember is an opportunity for men to empower themselves whether or not they want to be screened for prostate cancer," Brisson said.
"As a urological community, we agree that most men should be screened for prostate cancer over the age of 50."
Even with Movember ending, you can donate to the cause year-round by clicking here. A local Movember team is hosting a Movember-ending fundraising event at Madra Rua in Park Circle of North Charleston on Saturday.