November 29, 2013 7:36 pm
Updated: November 30, 2013 12:23 pm

Talking men’s health: is Movember working?

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REGINA – We’re down to the final days of Movember, meaning many of those moustaches will be shaved off soon.

The campaign aims to raise awareness about health issues targeting men, but while there are a lot of fuzzy upper lips this month, how many of those guys are seeing their doctors?

Trevor Gates has raised about $700 through his moustache – the current style of which he jokingly calls the “Oui oui, Monsieur.”

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“Stuff like this gives us a humourous way, and permission, to talk about things we never would talk about,” Gates said.

The conversation is about men’s health issues, including prostate and testicular cancer, as well as mental health challenges.

The Movember campaign has raised $24 million in Canada this year alone, but is it actually starting a discussion?

“Men are men, we don’t talk about those things,” was the answer from one man on the street.

Over the last five years, the number of men taking the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test has gone up in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, but not substantially.

In 2008, 67,461 patients took the test. By 2010, that number jumped to 72,207, but was only 72,433 in 2012.

Movember Canada organizers say it’s important to have the conversation, encouraging men to get checked even under the age of 40 if they’re in a high-risk group.

“You can have all the funding in the world, but if you don’t have guys talking about their health and taking action, seeing a doctor when they don’t feel well, then it’s really all for nothing,” said Michael Braiden.

Talking to men on the street, the campaign has gone a long way, even if it’s only created a safe zone for discussing health issues.

“I think it’s an ongoing thing, especially for guys (over 40),” said one man.

“We should take every measure we can (for) early detection.”

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