Scott Strachen is saying goodbye to his bare face and hello to a hairy one.
“This is about 3 months in so yeah and it’s just going and going or growing and growing and growing,” says Scott Strachen, growing mustache for men’s health.
It’s a November tradition: growing mustaches to bring awareness to men’s health, in particular prostate cancer, something very personal to Strachen.
“Four years ago my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he had his prostate removed,” says Strachen.
“I am very passionate about this topic,” says Dr. William Figlesthaler, a urologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
Dr. Figlesthaler diagnoses and treats prostate cancer. It’s the leading cancer killer in men.
“About 244,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States about 33 to 35,000 men die of prostate cancer,” says Dr. Figlesthaler.
Early detection is critical. Once considered an old man’s cancer, the age is dropping and men need to have an open mind and accept the idea of being screened.
“The guidelines right now by the American Neurologic Associate would be that men age 40 should have a baseline PSA blood test and a digital rectal examination. And beginning at the age 50 men should have an annual digital rectal test and PSA blood test. African Americans should begin at the age 40. And people with a positive family history should begin at age 35,” says Dr. Figlesthaler.
Let’s face it; most guys would rather do housework than go to the doctors for an exam. But a 2011 study made the case that screening saves lives.
“It looked at 15-20,000 men who were screened vs. not screened they found a 44% reduction from death from prostate cancer in the screening group over a 14 period of time, which was huge,” says Dr. Figlesthaler.
So if you notice more men with mustaches,
“We like to say we’re walking, talking billboards,” says Strachen.
They represent the changing face of men’s health.