WARREN - Community leaders, lawyers, doctors, and many others are helping to promote prostate cancer awareness by not shaving for the entire month as part of an effort known as Movember.
Six attorneys at Harrington, Hoppe and Mitchell have again sworn off shaving for the month in order to raise awareness of important men's health issues.
Attorney and cancer survivor Patrick K. Wilson rallied colleagues Alan D. Wenger, Martin J. Boetcher, Vito J. Abruzzino, Matthew M. Ries and James L. Blomstrom to help support Movember, an international movement that encourages men to grow facial hair as a talking point to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer.
Movember aims to increase instances of early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments that could ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths.
"This movement is about more than facial hair - it's a call to action for men to take charge of their health and be aware of the importance of being screened for prostate cancer. The Movember movement is about changing the face of men's health," Wilson said.
According to the American Cancer Society, other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and the second-leading cause of cancer death behind lung cancer.
The Movember movement, in which HHM has participated for the past three years, has special significance to Wilson. He battled an aggressive form of prostate cancer in 2009. He underwent surgery in April 2010 and remains cancer-free.
Wilson said his father, Thomas, died of prostate cancer in May 1996, and his father-in-law, Dr. Jerome Stanislaw, died of prostate cancer in July 1997. One of Wilson's brothers was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and another brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer in his 20s.
Proceeds from the Movember campaign will stay local with Man Up Mahoning Valley, started by Boardman urologist Dr. Daniel J. Ricchiuti and Humility of Mary Health Partners Foundation.
HHM will provide updated photos of its month-long facial hair efforts on its website, www.hhmlaw.com/ movember.
Donations can be made to Man Up Mahoning Valley and sent to Harrington, Hoppe and Mitchell, P.O. Box 6077, Youngstown, OH 44501.
The staff of NEO Urology Associates Inc. also started November by growing and/or donning mustaches in an attempt to drive conversations about the need for annual prostate cancer screenings.
"The mustaches, especially on men who don't usually have one, is a conversation starter," Ricchiuti said. "When somebody says something about it, that's an opportunity to say, 'I'm growing it to raise awareness about prostate cancer and the need for routine annual screenings.'"
Ricchiuti says women are critical to driving awareness about the need for routine screenings because women oversee healthcare for their families, often insisting that their loved ones see their physicians.
He said with prostate cancer, there are no symptoms until the disease is in advanced stages. Because most prostate cancers can be cured if they are discovered early, routine screenings are imperative.
"Our goal is to raise awareness about prostate cancer and encourage men to talk with their doctors and get annual screenings. We hope we'll have men throughout the entire community challenging their friends, families and coworkers to grow mustaches and spread the word about the importance of routine prostate cancer screenings," Ricchiuti said.