While Pink October celebrated its 30th this yeare birthday, Blue November is like a little brother, born almost 10 years later and still little known to the general public. However, in France, men represent 89,600 of the 157,400 cancer-related deaths in France, or almost 57%.
Like Pink October, Blue November aims to raise public awareness about cancer in men, especially prostate and testicular cancer, and to provide access to screening for as many people as possible. Unfortunately, the male equivalent of Breast Cancer Awareness Month has still not found an audience.
A global movement… but not Altiligerian
In 2003, a group of Australian friends took on the challenge of growing a mustache for a month, to symbolize masculinity and show their support for the cause. Since then, the Movember association has grown in many countries on five continents. There are now almost 7 million men and women participating in several thousand events organized in about twenty countries around the world. However, so far no event has been mentioned on the site in the Haute-Loire.
Despite the launch of the Movember challenge and Blue November’s almost 30 years of existence, mobilization against cancer in men remains even less compared to what we know for cancer in women, in particular breast cancer, with Pink October.
As proof, the Haute-Loire Cancer League has drawn up a calendar in October of actions organized this month in the context of breast cancer awareness and screening. Conversely, no communication in the context of Blue November, and even less a calendar.
A wind of hope
There is still a wind of hope for Blue November blowing in the department, with a number of notable initiatives.
First of all, we already told you about it at the beginning of this month, Audrey, Céline, Isabelle and Angela came together to create an exhibition of photos of men, to raise awareness about men’s health.
The Cancer League also runs an annual campaign, which is only being launched for the second time, but “ we hope the event will grow “.
This event is the Gentlemen’s Challenge: “ Because 40% of cancer cases can be prevented through behavioral change, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Committees of the League against Cancer invite the public to participate in an awareness and prevention campaign, the Gentlemen’s Challenge. This aims to make men aware of the importance of taking care of their health, but also of knowing how to seek support in case of illness. »
“ We wanted to open up the floor », Angela
Since the inauguration, photographer Angela confides: “ The idea came about after my brother-in-law died of cancer. We wanted to open the floor through photography. » And it worked because she says that “ the League Against Cancer, also our partner, received requests for screenings following the recordings and the exhibition. »
On the other hand, taboos remain. After launching a call on social networks, the four women were faced with an almost total absence of volunteers. They had to overcome challenges and push doors that were sometimes difficult to open, but they managed to find the right people. Today the photos will be exhibited in the town hall of Puy-en-Velay until November 17. They must then first be exported to the Hôtel du Département, the Yssingeaux hospital and the town hall of Brioude.
“ I realized I had never told my son about it. », Angela
However, the subject affects many people in France, hence the importance of lifting the taboo. To this end, the League Against Cancer also carries out operations, in particular interventions, at schools, companies or during sporting events. The target: “ increase awareness among young people »
The League also explains it in this sentence: “ Because they are young, teens sometimes laugh at first, but are generally very receptive. Raising awareness starts with young people, who will talk about it with the people around them and then with their children. »
Angela, the photographer who is currently exhibiting in the town hall of Puy to support the cause, in turn admits that “ While working on this project, I realized that I had never talked about it with my son “.
“ It is taboo because it affects men’s masculinity »
The challenge therefore lies in avoiding the taboo. According to the Haute-Loire Cancer League, testicular and prostate cancer are particularly taboo. because they influence men’s masculinity “. The organization specifies: “FObviously, talking about testicles and prostate is less sexy than talking about breasts. But that doesn’t make it any less important. »