Movember started in November, 2004 when 30 men from Melbourne, Australia grew mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health issues, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health.
Their effort has grown into a global non-governmental organization with over 1 million members who have raised $147 million in the United States and over $200 million dollars worldwide.
To become a member individuals sign up on Movember.com, where they create a personal webpage and solicit donations from friends and family. Most importantly, they grow mustaches.
My 27-year-old son lives in Denver. He brought Movember to his workplace last year. After speaking with him about the charity, it became apparent that members of the Vermont health care community could benefit from this movement. Therefore, with the help of my colleagues who treat men with prostate and testicular cancer at Vermont Cancer Center (VCC) we began our first Movember effort. We have started small, but realize a sincere potential in our ability to raise awareness and funding for prostate cancer research.
Men can be pro-active in regards to screening for prostate and testicular cancers by partnering with their primary care physicians. Simple blood tests and periodic physical exams are all that is needed.
We encourage any individuals interested in the charity to visit the Vermont Cancer Center website and grow mustaches to show your support for men’s health.
Bruce J. Leavitt, MD, is a cardiothoracic surgeon at Fletcher Allen Health Care, where he has served for nearly 25 years. Throughout his tenure at Fletcher Allen, he has participated in surgical missions in China, Panama, and Russia before becoming a member of Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres), with whom he traveled to Sri Lanka in 2009 and Nigeria in 2010.