"Movember" movement raises awareness for men's health

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Men around the world, including in Bay County and in the NewsChannel 7 studio, will grow out their whiskers next month for a good cause.

"It's a combination of the two words, 'mustache' and 'November,'" Dr. Carlos Ramos said.

You may know it as "No Shave November" or "Movember," but you may not be familiar with what the movement stands for.

"It's intended to raise awareness for men's health issues, especially prostate cancer awareness, but other cancers too," Dr. Ramos explained.

Prostate and testicular cancers, mental health, and suicide, are all factors the Movember Foundation says contribute to our dads, brothers, friends, and loved ones dying too young.

"It's very important they're involved in their own care," Dr. Ramos said.

Enter the "Movember" movement. Men and women at the Panama City Urological Center are getting on board.

At NewsChannel 7, our own meteorologist Ryan Michaels is joining in as well. Ryan also grew out the beard in November 2014.

"I've never actually gotten to see exactly the extent of where this would go, let alone I was very disappointed when I found out," Ryan joked about last year's attempt.

The idea's to grow out your mo' for one month and get folks talking and raising money. Ladies are welcome too.

"The girls have grown 'mustaches,'" Dr. Ramos said. "Most of us do have some kind of facial hair, some of us don't, some of us cannot grow it."

It's a fun way to back a non-profit, but the cause is serious. Cancer and mental health develop differently in every man, and the guidelines for treatment and prevention constantly change.

"It is important because there's a lot of conflicting information out there," Dr. Ramos said.

"Not all prostate cancers behave the same," he added.

It leads men to take steps now to be proactive about their health in the future.

"We probably take our health for granted," Ryan said. "So that's why it's more important, I think, to do something like this to kind of draw attention to the fact that, hey, yeah we're guys, and we like to be tough and manly, but you know what, it's a good idea to just get checked out."

So consider getting those beards growing and embracing the unkempt look for 30 days.

To find out more about how to sign up online and where the money raised by the Movember Foundation goes, follow the links attached to this web page.