No-Shave November is more than just a trend. It is a unique way to raise awareness for male cancer. The concept of No-Shave November is for men to grow out their facial hair, which many cancer patients lose. By donating money that they would normally spend on shaving and grooming, these men are contributing towards cancer prevention, saving lives, and supporting those still battling cancer.
The importance of the cancer awareness and prevention amongst men is that it can educate people on the warning signs of cancer. It is especially important for men to do this because prostate cancer is the leading type of terminal cancer among men. Early detection can increase the chance of getting the proper treatment.
PHS science teacher Dave Buquo is participating in No Shave November. This event hits very close to home for him because recently he was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer. Squamous-cell carcinoma, the form of skin cancer Buquo has, develops on the surface of the skin. Even though this form of cancer is the most harmless type, it can still be dangerous depending on where it is located.
“It was on a place on my body that was highly vascular and had a lot of lymph node involvement,” said Buquo. “It was in a dangerous area.”
Untreated, squamous-cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious damage. Fortunately his cancer was able to be treated. He and his family were able to get through the rough time from the generosity and compassion of family members, his church, and the staff at PHS.
Steve Wade, PHS math teacher, is also participating in No-Shave November. His unique take on this event was to challenge his students to raise money in order for him to keep his beard. His class set a goal every week to raise 50 dollars, and if they didn’t reach that goal he would shave off his beard.
“I guess I’m doing it because I wanted to help support male prostate cancer awareness, and then also to help raise money towards research for it,” said Wade.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongst men. According to the American Cancer Society, they estimate that in 2015 about 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and about 29,480 men will die of prostate cancer. This cancer mainly affects older men aged 65 and older. Some ways to reduce the risk of prostate cancer is to maintain a healthy diet, weight, exercise, and get regular checkups at the doctor’s office.
“[Doing No-Shave November] also gave me a good excuse to not have to shave for a month,” said Wade.
The fun part of participating in this event is that it allows men who have never grown facial hair before to grow a few strands of hair on their heads and chins. For some, not being able to shave has had both its benefits and downfalls.
“ [The worst part is that] it itches! Oh, it itches so badly, and plus, my wife’s nagging at me. She offered me twenty bucks to shave it,” said Buquo, “[The best part is that it’s] just reminding me every day that I’m a lucky guy. It reminds me every day that I beat it. So far, I’ve beaten it. It takes me think of my other brothers and sisters that are going through it, too. It’s a terrible disease. One out of every three people are gonna have [cancer] some day.”
No-Shave November is one of the most unique ways for men to help other men out by growing beards and making a social statement about the real life battles that people with cancer go through. With proper awareness and the generosity of the others in donating money to fund cancer research, this disease can be beaten one beard at a time.