KUALA LUMPUR: Get ready to grow a moustache or beard to support 'Movember- The Ultimate Shave Off' three-month campaign organised by the National Cancer Council (MAKNA) together with the Rainbow Team volunteer group to increase awareness on prostate and testicular cancer.
The campaign premise is to have men grow their moustache or beard from September until November, then have an "Ultimate Shave off" towards the end of the campaign because growing them is symbolic as many cancer patients lose their hair while undergoing treatment.
MAKNA founder and president, Datuk Mohd Farid Ariffin said the fund-raising campaign also aims to encourage more open and frequent conversation about prostate and testicular cancer which are not getting much exposure compared to other cancers.
"The tone of the campaign may be light but we hope men out there will get the message on the importance of regular health checks and early detection in preventing prostate and testicular cancer in particular, " he said.
Movember (a portmanteau of "Moustache" and "November") had its start in Australia in 1999 and has come to be synonymous with efforts to raise awareness on men's health issues including prostate and male-related cancers with the growing of moustache in the month of November.
Besides, to keep the public engaged and continue to participate in the campaign during the campaign duration, the organiser has planned a video contest, selfie challenge and a grand finale at the Great Eastern Mall Jalan Ampang for the closing of the campaign.
Lymphoma cancer survivor, Harikrishnan Maniam, 26, said public involvement in this kind of campaign is highly appreciated since the cancer sufferer really needs moral and financial support.
"When I was undergoing my treatment, I lost much hair and went bald, so I know how it feels to have that look (hairless) ... so I really appreciate this kind of creative campaign to deliver an important message like this," he told Bernama after the campaign and music video launch here, today.
Meanwhile, another cancer survivor, May Lui, 41 said this initiative should be held yearly in order to encourage better understanding of the diseases at the same time create awareness about prostate and testicular cancer.
Prostate cancer ranks number four in the 10 most frequent cancers for males in Malaysia while the risk of dying from testicular cancer is about 1 in 5,000.
For the past five years, MAKNA has assisted in over 250 cases of prostate and testicular cancer and the youngest testicular cancer patient they had assisted was just one year old.