Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mo Fruits, Mo Flowers, Mo Leaves, Mo Birds - Movember.

That's right, it's Movember again!

For those that don't know, the month formerly known as November has been given over to the goal of raising awareness of prostate cancer, accomplished by men the world over  making a commitment to grow new moustaches (a "Mo").  Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, men commit to growing a moustache for 30 days to raise funds for cancer research.  Last year, global participation in Movember raised CDN $47 million!

I'm taking part for the first time this year, and a couple of mornings ago I got myself a nice clean shave.  I'm now waiting for enough to grow in to start trying to decide what sort of mo I'll grow!

Hopefully, a few of you will decide to support my face fuzz with a donation, which you can easily do here. In return I'll commit to new growth on my face, and to regularly posting updates here and on my Movember page, which I'm sure will generate much controversy and hilarity.

The Movember movement aims to increase awareness of prostate cancer and to promote screening (testing before detection of any symptoms), for obvious reasons.  Unfortunately, here in Ontario not all men have equal access to the PSA test (Prostate-Specific Antigen test).  The Ontario Ministry of Health has chosen not to provide the PSA test as an early detection measure as they have with cervical and breast cancer screening.  The Ministry web site says it best:
In men without symptoms (screening), PSA testing is not paid for by the provincial health plan. A man can have the PSA test if he is willing to pay for the test himself. However, it is hoped he will make this decision only after discussion with his Health Care Provider.
 The Ministry's explanation for this is that they don't believe the current PSA test is reliable enough to be used as a screening measure.  The statistics they quote say that, of every 100 men over the age of 50 screened, 4 or 5 will have prostate cancer: three will be detected, and one or two will go undetected by the test.  That seems like a fairly decent result to me, when one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, and twelve Canadian men die of prostate cancer daily.

Perhaps some enterprising souls will write to the Minister and encourage her to support prostate cancer screening.

In the mean time, please visit my Movember page;  enjoy a few laughs at my expense, and please donate if you can.

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