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Movemeber: The Moustache & Prostate Cancer Awareness

Though it’s still early in the month, have you noticed a higher then usual number of mustaches?  If you live in Brooklyn you’re immune to the changing tide of facial hair but for the rest of us November means mustaches!

The trend started in 1999 by a group of Australian men who grew their mustaches during the month of November for charity. Today “Movember” is celebrated worldwide to raise awareness and funds to prevent prostate and testicular cancer.

Aside from the gift of turning the average man into a Burt Reynolds look-alike, Movember spotlights a very real issue concerning men’s health, prostate cancer. Second to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men today. In 2014 about 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed. Rates are higher in developed countries, particularly the United States, suggesting a correlation between prostate cancer and the Western diet and lifestyle.

A recent study from the University of Bristol found that a tomato-rich diet can actually fight prostate cancer. According to the study men who ate 10 portions of tomatoes a week had an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Scientists believe this is attributed to lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes that, “fights off toxins that cause DNA and cell damage.”¹

Regardless of how you prepare tomatoes you’ll still be ingesting lycopene. Meaning that even processed tomato products such as marinara sauce or tomato paste are beneficial to your health. So this month every time you see a mustache think of your prostate and eat a tomato. Happy Movember!

 

1. V. Er, J. Athene Lane, R. M. Martin, P. Emmett, R. Gilbert, K. N. L. Avery, E. Walsh, J. L. Donovan, D. E. Neal, F. C. Hamdy, M. Jeffreys. Adherence to dietary and lifestyle recommendations and prostate cancer risk in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trialCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2014; DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0322

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