by Travis Fauteux & Alex Denonville
The Lance – News Editors
A University of Windsor student is challenging his fellow classmates to raise money and awareness for various issues affecting men’s health.
Ryan Smith, a fourth-year business student at the University of Windsor, is teaming up with Campus Services to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma surrounding men’s health by encouraging men to grow moustaches during the month of November.
Smith started a Movember campaign at the beginning of the month with the goal of reaching $5,000 by November 30; over $2,100 has already been collected. All proceeds collected for Movember will be put towards treatment and care programs for men with prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.
Smith said that he decided to participate in Movember because many boys and men are afraid to discuss mental health problems or are hesitant to consult a doctor.
“There’s the slogan ‘Every moustache has a story,’” said Smith. “So, by men growing moustaches, people are going to start talking [about] what your story is, why you are growing a moustache this year. Maybe you know friends of family members who have suffered from mental illness, testicular cancer or prostate cancer.
“I am personally ‘Mo-ing’ so that research can be conducted to stop men losing their lives from prostate and testicular cancer [and] so that men and boys with mental health problems can live free of stigma and discrimination.”
Smith said men need to know silence is not an option when it comes to important health issues. Men should know they have the opportunity to speak freely about their issues and the options available to them.
Judy Wilson, health promotion nurse in Student Health Services, said they are focusing a lot of attention on testicular cancer because it affects the male student population the most.
“Movember started off as support for people with prostate cancer and they have enriched it to include testicular cancer and men’s mental health,” said Wilson. “Certainly, testicular cancer is a young men’s disease and so that’s our target. We’re doing a lot of information around testicular self-examination. It’s going very well.”
It’s that institutional support that has made campaign possible.
“While I am the captain of the team, both Campus Services as a whole and Student Health Services have provided the support needed for this campaign to be such a success,” Smith said.
In order to encourage donations to the cause, Smith is allowing students to compete for the honour of having the best moustache. The person with the best moustache will receive $50 in UWinCASH, which can be used for photocopying, printing, laundry, food and bookstore purchases at the University.
The top three earners for the campaign will receive $100, $75 and $50 in UWinCASH. The winning participants will be honoured at an awards ceremony on November 26 at noon in the CAW Centre Lobby.
Those who are interested in donating to the Movember campaign can do so by following this link: http://ca.movember.com/team/1637069
A few quick facts:
- Most common cancer in young men aged 15-29
- Possible Risk Factors Include:
- Undescended Testicle
- Family History of testicular cancer
- Personal history of testicular cancer (cancer in one testicle increases the chances of getting it in the other testicle)
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Early Symptoms Include:
- painless lump on the testicle – can vary in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres
- persistent lump on the testicle that does not go away
- feeling of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum
- painful testicle
- swelling of a testicle
- enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen or neck
- One in Eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer
- An estimated 4,000 men will die from prostate cancer in 2014
- An estimated 23,600 Canadian men will be diagnosed in 2014
- Possible Risk Factors include:
- Age – Risk raises considerably after age 50
- Race – more common in men of African or Caribbean descent and less common in men of Asian descent
- Family history
- Diet: Men who eat a low-fibre, high-fat diet have a higher rate of prostate cancer
- Lifestyle: Having a high Body Mass Index (BMI) may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Being physically active is a good preventative tactic, along with losing weight and eating the right foods.
- Early Symptoms Include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Urgent need to urinate
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Burning or pain when urinating
- Inability to urinate or difficulty starting or stopping urine flow
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in the urine or semen