We talk about our favorite comic book moustaches and share some prostate cancer facts in this today’s Movember-themed edition of The Roundtable
Movember (a portmanteau word from moustache and “November”) is an annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of Men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers; and associated charities. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at Movember.com. The goal of Movember is to ‘change the face of men’s health.’
By encouraging men (which the charity refers to as ‘Mo Bros’) to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides getting an annual check-up, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of any family history of cancer, and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
- From the Movember Wikipedia article
In today’s edition of the Roundtable, we’re doing our little bit to raise prostate cancer awareness by going with a Movember-inspired question for the Comixverse staffers: Who has the most awesome comic book facial hair?
Of course, you don’t have to take part in themed promotions to help advance the causes of cancer awareness, cancer prevention, and cancer research. Below are links to sites that provide valuable information regarding prostate cancer and offer ways for people to help with their efforts:
- The National Cancer Insititute’s Prostate Cancer page
- The Public Health Agency of Canada Prostate Cancer page
- The American Cancer Society’s Detailed Guide to Prostate Cancer
- The Canadian Cancer Society’s Prostate Cancer Page
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Prostate Cancer Information page
- The Prostate Cancer Foundation
- Prostate Cancer Canada Network
This is a tough one. I really don’t pay attention if a character has facial hair. The only one that really comes to mind is Batroc The Leaper. He had that old school swashbuckler-style moustache. I can just picture him taking an end and twirling it while telling the hero this week’s evil plot (two seconds before the Leaper gets his ass handed to him yet again).
Definition of prostate cancer (from the National Cancer Institute): Cancer that forms in tissues of the prostate (a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum). Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men.
My choice is going to be a bit of a cheat since it’s not a standard moustache but more general facial hair: Wolverine’s sideburns. It’s a holdover of 1970s men’s style more than anything else (the late Dave Cockrum was the first artist to draw his unmasked face in Uncanny X-Men #98 back in 1976) but in combination with his hairstyle, he has one of the most distinct and memorable hair profiles in comics. Also, his sideburns (and overall hirsutism) are a manifestation of his quick-healing power, as revealed in Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X: They grow back within minutes of shaving them. For Wolverine, every month is Movember!
One other thing that helped make me a fan of Wolverine’s sideburns: It reminded me of “The Prince of Darkness” in the 1978 Ozploitation movie Stunt Rock, which was probably my favorite live-action movie when I was in first grade.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors (information from the Public Health Agency of Canada)
There is no single cause of prostate cancer, but some factors increase the risk of developing it:
- age – if you are over 60 (when over 80% of cases of prostate cancer occur). Prostate cancer is uncommon under 50
- family history – if members of your family have had prostate cancer
- being of African descent
Other possible risk factors (that scientists are now researching) include:
- a diet high in fat
- physical inactivity
- working with cadmium, and to a lesser degree lead and copper, which are used in manufacturing.
I’d have to go with Oliver Queen, well pre – new 52 Ollie. That thing was iconic, man. It’s cool to see they’re bringing it back in Green Arrow #25 (even though it’ll probably only be for the zero year tie-in).
Prostate Cancer Signs and Symptoms (information from the American Cancer Society)
Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Advanced prostate cancers can cause some symptoms, such as:
- Problems passing urine, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night.
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Trouble getting an erection (impotence)
- Pain in the hips, back (spine), chest (ribs), or other areas from cancer spread to bones
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord.
Other diseases can also cause many of these same symptoms. For example, trouble passing urine is much more often caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) than cancer. Still, it is important to tell your doctor if you have any of these problems so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Everybody had such great answers for the topic of best facial hair, but everyone forgot about one of the wisest and most noble of all characters, Alpha Trion! Yes my choice is the mentor of Optimus Prime, and yes he is a robot in disguise. Now I’m not sure how Transformers are “born” or even how its decided that a robot can grow facial hair but I do know that Alpha Trions’ beard rocks.
And check out this fine Kieth Hernandez-esque ‘stache the Young Alpha Trion sported in an episode of the cartoon:
Early detection of prostate cancer (information from the Canadian Cancer Society)
Men over the age of 50 should talk with their doctor about whether they should have testing for early detection of prostate cancer. The following tests may be used to help detect prostate cancer early:
- digital rectal examination (DRE)
- DRE is the most common way to check for prostate cancer.
- Most prostate cancers develop in the peripheral zone of the prostate. The peripheral zone is the part of prostate that is closest to the rectum and can easily be felt by the doctor during a DRE.
- A normal prostate feels smooth and rubbery. The doctor feels for lumps and changes in the size, shape and consistency of the prostate. Prostate cancer can feel like a hard or lumpy area.
- prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
- The PSA test helps detect problems with the prostate, including prostate cancer.
- It measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood.
- The prostate makes PSA. It is normal to find small amounts of PSA in the blood, but problems with the prostate can cause the PSA level to rise.
- A PSA test may find abnormalities in the prostate better than DRE, but it isn’t a perfect test for detecting prostate cancer.
- Sometimes, high levels of PSA are caused by problems other than prostate cancer, and men with prostate cancer do not always have high levels of PSA.
Using these tests together is better than using either test alone, so these 2 tests are often used in combination. A DRE and PSA test can help detect prostate cancer early, but they are not 100% accurate. They can sometimes miss prostate cancer when it is present (false negative) or cause false alarms by suggesting that prostate cancer is present when it isn’t (false positive).
Personally, I am partial to Tony Stark’s porn-star moustache as depicted in the “Armor Wars” story arc in the late 80’s. This pencil-thin dickbroom made the ladies scream with carnal delight, and had hypnotic properties strong enough to overshadow the constant stench of hard liquor on his breath. I don’t know if just the moustache alone can receive all the credit for Mr. Stark, as the Jheri-curl mullet he was rocking definitely influenced and enhanced the overall look. It’s like Eazy-E, Rick James, Lionel Richie, and Mario Lopez formed a think-tank whose sole purpose was to create the perfect perm.
The personal styles of both he and James Rhodes during this time were superb; Rhodie’s high top fade looked straight out of a De La Soul video- so perfectly flat and angular I am surprised the War Machine armor’s helmet wasn’t modded to accommodate it. All he needed was an eye patch and some truck jewelry and you wouldn’t have been able to tell him apart from Slick Rick.
So back on topic, Tony Stark’s ‘stache was a monumental testament to the power of facial hair, so much so that it puts Ron Jeremy to shame, and for that we all should be grateful. Now go get your prostate checked.
Prostate Cancer Statistics (data from the National Cancer Institute)
- Based on the most recent data, approximately 15.3% of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime.
- There are an estimated 2,617,682 men currently living with prostate cancer in the United States.
- An estimated 238.950 cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2013 (14.4% of all new cancer cases).
- An estimated 29,720 American men will die of prostate cancer-related causes in 2013 (5.1% of all cancer-related deaths).