No-shave November, is a campaign that was started to raise awareness about prostate cancer, testicular cancer and as well as for men who commit suicide. The campaign falls under a web-based, non-profit organization which usually runs throughout the entire month of November.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men that occurs in the prostate which is a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
However the most common cancer in men between the ages of fifteen and thirty four years of age is testicular cancer. Testicular cancer exists in two tumours namely seminoma and nonseminoma.
The difference between the two tumours is that nonseminomas grow and spread at a faster pace compared to seminomas. This type of cancer can be detected through a lump or swelling in the testicle.
Over the years, statistics published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has shown that more men die by suicide than women and in affluent countries three times as many men aged 50 years and over are particularly vulnerable to die because of suicide compared to women.
An estimated 510 000 men die each year due to suicide while the number of prostate cancer diagnoses is expected to double to 1.7 million by the year 2030.
The idea of No-Shave November came about when a family wanted to honour a family member who had passed away from colon cancer in November 2007. The family decided to use the opportunity as a way to raise money for charity.
Commemorated in the third week of November it comes as no surprise if one were to walk around and spot men of different age groups with grown out beards – all for the cause.
The rules for No-Shave November are simple; all one has to do is shave their face completely clean before participating and then allow the incoming new beard to grow throughout the entire month of November.
However grooming and trimming of beards are perfectly acceptable for those that have a strict dress code at work.
Most men who take part in No-Shave November donate all the money they save from not buying razors and shaving cream to charitable cancer organisations.
The good thing about taking part in No-Shave November is that it has created a platform where men receive health benefits such as the beard acting as a natural toxin filter which traps things such as dust, pollen and other irritants which helps to keep all these things out of your lungs which is a good for those that suffer from allergies.
Beards also prevent blemishes unlike shaving which exposes the skin to bacterial infections. Studies have shown that a beard can also help protect your skin from up to 95 percent of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, however it is still advised that one should apply sunscreen before going outside.
During the month of November men of all ages participate in Movember which is campaign that is similar to No-shave November. However with Movember mental issues for men are as well included.
The Namibian National Rugby Team is currently participating in the Movember movement under the theme “Grow a Mo, Save a Bro”.
In an interview with The Lounge, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Namibia Rugby Union (NRU), Elizma Theron stated that Grow a Mo, Save a Bro campaign is an opportunity for the National Rugby Team to create awareness among males regarding the reality and the dangers of prostate cancer and early detection thereof.
Theron further explained that this was a method for the team to be part of something bigger that could potentially affect any of them, or any of their supporters.
“The team has a responsibility to create awareness among males and being in the public eye, they are in the ideal position to have an impact. Paratus is one of the team’s main sponsors and are the driving force behind the campaign, as they gladly support the worthy cause.”
The team will be playing two tests on the 18 and 25 November against Uruguay where 10 percent of the nett gate takings will be donated to the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN).
“Since the team is not always together during November, NRU found that it was a perfect time to participate.”
Cancer and suicide has taken many loved ones away and this is definitely something no one would wish to go through. Taking part in No-Shave November and Movember not only helps save those going through mental issues or those diagnosed with the disease but also honours those that have lost the fight against it.
By the end of November most men would have grown really great beards. This however does not mean that their contribution to charitable organisations for cancer and mental issues should end there or only be done during November. Their support is needed throughout the year.