Grow a tache for prostate cancer

BOYS at a Newham school have renamed November Movember – to help raise awareness of prostate cancer.

Movember challenges men to grow a moustache, a Mo for short, for the month and raise funds for cancers affecting men.

Paul Halliwell, above, head teacher at St Bonaventure’s Catholic Boys’ School, Forest Gate, became aware of prostate cancer when legendary entertainer Bob Monkhouse died of the condition in 2003.

Mr Halliwell said: “Men do not talk about their health, especially when it affects the more embarrassing parts of the body. I was amazed to learn that one in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of these, one in three will die.

“This means that in each year group in St Bonaventure’s, 33 boys will develop the disease when older. More worryingly, 10 boys are going to die unnecessarily, unless early detection becomes a feature in middle age.

“As we have a large proportion of boys of African origin, it could be three times this.’’ African Caribbean men in the UK have approximately three times a greater risk of developing the condition than white men.

Mr Halliwell added: “We must take ownership of our bodies and our health. Let us be more responsible for what happens to us and let us be open and honest about our health.”

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He has already raised a “significant’’ amount for The Prostate Cancer Charity and will continue to collect throughout Movember.

Pupils are donating money, some of which was raised through the school’s sponsored walk on Friday.