December 4th, 2019

The 9 Impact Stories You Might Have Missed

Read more about the projects that your Movember donations fund
Men's Health | Where The Money Goes
2 MIN READ
 

With the funds you’ve helped raise, Movember is changing the face of men’s health globally. Since 2003, we’ve funded 1,250 health projects across prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention – projects that help to prolong, improve or straight-up save men’s lives. Here are nine examples of what we do with the money raised by legends like you.

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A research team from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, has begun work on two trials co-funded by Movember and the Australian Federal Government. The trials use PSMA radiotherapy, a ‘search and destroy’ type of radiotherapy that targets cancer cells using radioactive chemicals while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Thousands of men with incurable prostate cancer are set to benefit from PSMA radiotherapy, which could radically change prostate cancer treatment.

The team is led by Professor Michael Hofman and Associate Professor Arun Azad.

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In remote Indigenous communities of Northern Canada, suicide rates are among the highest in the world. Movember-funded Circumpolar is a land-based project that aims to improve the mental health of Indigenous boys and men through teaching traditional skills and strengthening ties to cultural heritage. Over the past three years, Movember has funded six programs in which nearly 500 young men have learnt practical traditional skills such as seal, duck or caribou hunting, rifle handling and ice fishing, while strengthening ties to their cultural heritage, and building friendships and community connections that serve to guard against anxiety, loneliness and depression.

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Through the Movember-led GAP1 project, a team of global researchers has developed a urine test that can better predict whether or not a man is likely to need treatment for his prostate cancer within his next five years. Current standard diagnostic tests for prostate cancer are not 100% accurate, leading the overtreatment of many men for a disease that mightn’t have threatened their lives. Once validated, this simple test, which is being developed by the University of East Anglia, could spare countless men from unnecessary side effects of invasive tissue biopsies and potentially unnecessary treatments

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Movember-funded scientists have helped to identify the world’s first precision medicine for prostate cancer. Results from the TOPARP-B trial have shown that Olaparib – a drug approved to treat breast and ovarian cancer – extends survival in some men with an aggressive form of the disease who possess certain genetic mutations. Movember’s Dr Mark Buzza: “We hope that Olaparib will become the first of many exciting new personalised treatments for men living with prostate cancer.”

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Movember is funding and coordinating the world’s first clinical trial looking at whether intensive exercise can prolong survival and improve quality of life for men with advanced prostate cancer. The multi-site trial is currently running in 20+ research sites across the USA, Canada, Australia, China, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany, with more set to join.

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Teenage athletes who undergo one hour of mental fitness training are more resilient and more likely to seek help when they need it, according to Movember-funded research.
 
As part of Movember’s Ahead Of The Game project (known as Breaking The Ice in Canada), boys aged 11-18 will receive mental health training through community sports clubs. The evidence-based project also works with parents and sports coaches, teaching them how to spot the signs of poor mental health and how to tell the difference between potential problems and normal teenage behaviour.

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As part of Movember’s mission to improve men and boys’ understanding of the health issues they face, thousands of teenage boys will undertake lessons in mental and emotional health. The students will also learn how to self-check for cancer (testicular cancer is most common cancer in young men). The Movember-designed lesson plans, which have been endorsed by the UK's PSHE Association (the national body for Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education), were made available to all UK schools in September and over 2,000 packs have been downloaded since.

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In the lead up to 2019’s testicular cancer awareness month in April, a global poll revealed that more than half of those most at risk of the disease – men aged 18-34 – didn’t know it. Following this year’s high-profile international campaign, a survey indicated the number of 18-34-year-olds who now know that they’re in the most at-risk group has leapt from 31% to 41.5%. Detecting testicular cancer early dramatically improves the chances of successful treatment.

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A Movember-funded blood test, which could prolong the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer is now available to patients in the US. The AR-V7 blood test is a predictive biomarker that can predict whether or not a man will respond to novel drugs that target the androgen receptor (if you think of prostate cancer as a car, the androgen receptor is its engine). Following successful clinical trials co-funded by Movember, the AR-V7 blood test was developed by biotech company Epic Sciences. To date, over 1,600 men in the US have taken the test, which is now reimbursed by Medicare.

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