November — or Movember as it’s increasingly becoming known — is now a traditional fixture in the calendar for any dapper man looking to sport a well-styled moustache or hipster beard, while raising money for men’s health.

A walk through central London or a ride on the tube confirms this is certainly a hairier month than usual and many UK men have responded to the Movember Foundation’s call to ‘Grow a Mo and save a Bro’.

‘Grow a Mo and save a Bro’ makes sense as the moustache is the Movember Foundation’s ribbon for men’s health.

Movember matters because claims statistics from one UK insurer show that cancer as a whole continued to account for 50 percent of all its male critical illness claims received in 2015, with prostate cancer by far the most common.

This was followed closely by cancer of the bowel, colon and rectum which accounted for 18 percent of critical illness claims.

The data also showed:

  • An 11 percent increase in critical illness claims for cancer of the bowel, colon and rectum, from 2014 to 2015;
  • Shockingly, the youngest prostate cancer claimant was 47 years old in 2015, one year younger than in 2014;
  • A possible indication of earlier detection among men was the fall in age of the youngest male critical illness cancer claimant from 30 years old in 2014 for male breast cancer, to 26 years old in 2015 for malignant melanoma.

Cancer, as too many people already know from bitter experience, is a devastating and terrible disease. Its’ destruction is on the rise and must be stopped.

That’s why Movember matters because cancer can hit anyone — from the richest to the poorest — and it punches hard, often sucking life from the people we love away months after diagnosis.