The Coulee Region’s Team Mission Mustache wants men to set aside their razors during November to raise money to heighten awareness of men’s health issues and battle prostate cancer.

Well, participants don’t have to put their blades in dry dock or unplug their electrics altogether — just enough to leave a cookie duster in the global nonprofit fundraiser.

“We hope to generate some friendly competition,” team captain Marcus Burnham of Winona, Minn., said of the group’s challenge to businesses and other groups to form teams.

Burnham explained the reason for cultivating a crop on the upper lip: “Friends, family or co-workers may ask, ‘Growing a mustache?’ “That’s an easy way to start a conversation about men’s health issues.”

The team, which has just a few members so far, raised more than $4,000 during “Movember” last year from pledges to participants who started growing mustaches on Nov. 1, said publicity chairman Dr. James Allman of La Crosse.

The team’s website link is http://moteam.co/mission-mustache.

Male participants register as “Mo Bros,” and females, as “Mo Sistas” at Movember.com. Of course, the women don’t grow ’staches but rather encourage the men in their lives to participate in the nonprofit fundraiser.

An effort that started in 2003, “Movember” attracted a record-breaking 1.1 million participants last to raise more than $147 million for 800 men’s health programs globally. Since its inception, it has raised more than $580 million in 21 countries to combat prostate/testicular cancer and mental illness.

In the U.S., the Movember Foundation directs programs focused on awareness and education, living with and beyond cancer, and research to improve men’s health.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the U.S., affecting 1 in 7 men, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The risk increases with age, with just 1 in 10,000 men under age 40 diagnosed, compared with 1 in 38 for ages 40 to 59, and 1 in 14 for ages 60 to 69, according to the foundation.

More than 65 percent of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men older than 65, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

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Reporter

Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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