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November is all about “Movember” for those in the know. If you’ve never heard this term before, it’s about time we caught you up. Every year in November, Movember is the reason you see thousands of newly mustachioed men throughout the US and around the world. With their new “Mo’s,” these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.  Men start out clean shaven on November 1st and by the 30th, they have some serious landscaped facial hair displayed for the world to see. Mo Bros as they’re called, basically become walking, talking banners for men’s cancer awareness.

When you think about men’s cancers, you may think of testicular cancer or prostate cancer, but rarely does breast cancer come to mind. Although the numbers are low for male breast cancer, less than 1%, men do get the disease.  According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology this past October, when they are diagnosed, it is often in the advanced stages; however, they actually have a better chance for survival than women diagnosed at the same stage. This really drives home the need for increased awareness that men too, can and do get breast cancer.

One reason that men are often diagnosed later is due to limited awareness of breast cancer in men. When a woman develops a lump in her breast, she is more likely to schedule a check-up with a doctor than a man is with the same symptoms.  If more men knew that breast cancer could affect them, they would be more likely to respond to certain symptoms that women generally already recognize as warning signs. Advocates and researchers agree that improved awareness will result in earlier diagnosis and better outcomes.

So as you’re growing your mustache out this month, don’t forget to give a shout out to male breast cancer. It’s the perfect opportunity to get the word out about a little known disease affecting men. For the testosterone challenged who unfortunately can’t grow a fabulous ‘stache, don’t feel left out, just jump right into Movember and get creative with your advocacy! :-)

 

Are you a cancer survivor? Help oncofertility researchers study and prevent treatment-induced fertility loss by joining the FIRST online fertility registry for cancer survivors!

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