Friday, November 29, 2013

Why raising money for Movember isn't enough

Did you know that the products you use to groom your Movember moustache may put you at risk for prostate cancer?

Please read this recent article from Environmental Defence that explains the concerning evidence of a relationship between toxic chemical exposure and prostate cancer and other types. It also explains the need for awareness about these risks and the need to pressure for policy changes that would ban endocrine disrupting chemical exposure, require disclosure of these chemical ingredients and increase availability of safe products.
Movember, moustache, awareness, criticism, superficial
Image Credit: fengschwing
Discussion about possible environmental and social issues of prostate cancer has been mostly absent from Movember awareness. This is one of the main reasons I and others have criticized the movement (not because we are crazy, man hating feminists, as so many people have suggested). We need to discuss these things and take action if we want to change things.

Prevention is more than exercising, eating right and getting screened, which are the only health promotional recommendations I've seen in Movember awareness, when there is awareness at all, and there is very little discussion about the limitations and risks of screening.

Next year, instead of just bragging about how hilarious your handlebar moustache is (thus disconnecting the campaign from the cause), brag about the safe products you used and the pressure you put on your government to help make others safe, too. If you're already doing this, thank you!

It's not enough to grow a moustache and donate money to the cause. Please don't let the fun distract you from important awareness and action or let you deflect attention from these important issues.


  1. Your article complains about the lack of discussion concerning the possible environmental and social issues of prostate cancer but adds nothing to the conversation. What are some of these issues we should be talking about?

  2. Anonymous - I said that there is a "relationship between toxic chemical exposure and prostate cancer" and explained that policy changes were necessary to reduce exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, which play a role in cancer. My "recent article" page explains these issues in further detail.

    I also said that there are limitations to screening and linked to a great document that explains this in further detail.

    These two points and my supporting evidence add "to the conversation." They are important issues that aren't being addressed in Movember participation and there is little awareness about them in general. My thesis is that that the absence of these important campaign features is detrimental to the prostate cancer cause, as it would be to any cause.

    My objective is to convey the importance of true awareness. If people understand this, more will share these facts and take action.