SEND YOUR PICS: Show us your mo

BEARDS have their place but the moustache has typically divided opinion.

Evoking images of fitted, open-collared polyester shirts, Aussie cricketers in the 1970s and, dare we say it, male "actors" in a certain type of adult film, the "mo" can be a subject of ridicule - except, perhaps, during November, when it is a symbol of solidarity, health, mateship and awareness.

Movember is an annual, month-long event in which men the world over grow a moustache to raise awareness of cancers common to men, such as prostate cancer, and mental health.

By changing the appearance of their faces, men during Movember are, effectively, changing the face of men's health.

It's about early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and reducing the number of preventable deaths. It's also about encouraging men to talk about health issues, even the potentially embarrassing ones; developing a healthier lifestyle; getting (at least) an annual check-up; and asking if there is any family history of cancer.

According to the Movember website, Australia is ranked third in the world in terms of the numbers registered in support of it, and in terms of money raised, proving that Aussie blokes aren't afraid to have a go, when it comes to a mo. The Hunter Region is no exception.

Newcastle Knights forward Robbie Rochow took up the challenge at the beginning of the month and now, almost a month later, is sporting a creditable mo.

"Movember is a great cause and it is a fun way to raise awareness of men's health issues and depression," Rochow said.

"I hope to raise a few dollars along the way, too."

Also participating is Jets player Michael Bridges.

"I am on board Movember this year in a big way after my dad had a recent scare with prostate cancer. I have always supported the Bobby Robson Foundation (cancer charity) back in England after my father-in-law passed away with pancreatic cancer.

"I wanted to show my support for my dad by doing Movember and help raise awareness of men's health issues."

MOVEMBER is almost over. Before you reach for the razor, grab your phone, take a pic and join the ranks of the Hunter's handsome and hirsute. You can get your pic to us in several ways. Download the Herald's iPhone or Android apps and use the report function or email you pic to online.media@theherald.com.au

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