Each November, the month-long campaign ‘Movember’ encourages men all around the world to grow out their moustaches to “change the face of men’s health”. With their Mo’s, these men, known as Mo Bros, transform themselves into walking advertisements for men’s health, raising awareness and money for prostate and testicular cancer in particular.

“The levels of awareness, understanding and funding for support of male health issues, like prostate cancer, lag significantly behind causes such as breast cancer. The reasons for the poor state of men’s health are numerous and complex and this is primarily due to a lack of awareness of the health issues men face,” states the Movember website.

Reasons for lack of awareness

The lack of awareness is largely due to the reluctance to openly discuss men’s health issues, reports the Movember Foundation. “Men are less likely to schedule a doctor’s appointment when they feel ill or go for a check up, therefore decreasing the chance of early detection and effective treatment of common diseases.”

Youth and health go hand in hand

This is also the case among students in their 20s. After all, youth and health are supposed to go hand in hand. But men’s health issues should be a hot topic – and fortunately, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of fine moustaches even on the Erasmus campus.

Movember on campus

Indeed, a number of students, faculty, and staff at the Erasmus University have decided to participate in Movember. “I am doing research on prostate cancer at the Erasmus MC. So I know the issues concerning prostate cancer awareness and because it is for a good cause, I decided to grow out my moustache for Movember,” says René Böttcher, a prostate cancer researcher at the Erasmus MC.

Positive reactions

Bart van Markestijn is an International Media and Communication (IBCoM) and International Business Administration (IBA) student. He too is participating in Movember and so far, has received more positive than negative feedback. Similarly, Niek van Dalen, a law student, has obtained positive reactions, noticing that most people are willing to donate. But then again, “ I think it is sad that many people are too afraid to walk around with a funny face for a month themselves,” says van Dalen. NL