TODAY

TODAY   |  November 29, 2013

‘Movember’ becoming serious fundraiser for men’s health

While growing out a moustache to raise awareness for men’s health may not seem like a legitmate fundraising effort, the Australian-born idea has generated more than $400 million in funds, quickly becoming one of the biggest cancer research fundraising efforts across the globe.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> all month we have been letting our beards grow as you may have noticed to raise awareness and money for men's health issues like prostate and testicular cancer . but movember is about the mo. that's slang for mustache in aus trail w -- australia.

>> reporter: as facial hair goes, the mustache being mundane and mysterious.

>> i prefer to investigate the scene of the crime .

>> to adult film industry to criminals who wore them and then in the 70s and 80s they became this fashion icon and then they totally went away.

>> reporter: like bell-bottoms they had gone out of style until adam's brother convinced him and 30 of their friends it was time for it to make a come back.

>> everybody would stop us and ask us and the conversation fell flat.

>> reporter: but at least it was a conversation and that gave these mustache men an idea.

>> we were inspired by the women around us and what they were doing for breast cancer and we thought there's nothing for men's help.

>> reporter: so they hoped to grow awareness for issues that impact men. they learned that prostate cancer will strike one in six men in the united states . that testicular cancer is most common in men under 35 and even the suicide rate is four times higher than women.

>> it's about breaking down stigmas and it's gone on to become the gateway for men to get engaged in their health and have conversations.

>> for movember employee tom whiteside the conversation is personal.

>> i didn't go to the doctor.

>> after months of night sweats and ignored symptoms his mom pushed him to seek help.

>> it was stage four by the time they found it.

>> reporter: six years later, tom is cancer free. he is hoping his mustache will encourage more men to go to the doctor. and along with others he is hoping to raise money for research.

>> mine, we call it a ginger mo. it's the lamest mustache but raises the most awareness and fun.

>> more than 3 million mustaches have been cultivated and groomed raising over 400 $$440 million. and that raises the mustache to a lofty level.

>> i wake up every morning and go my life has become about a mustache. about changing the face of men's health.

>> reporter: for today, carson daly in los angeles .

>> and those guys were a big inspiration for us to get on board and do something ourselves. on monday --

>> it's a big day .

>> we're going to take these down but in a special way that involves you the viewers. we're going to ask you for input.

>> you could have done the mustache but the beard --

>> it's been a long month dylan.

>> i love all the men on the show but i like your beard. i think it looks the best on you.

>> you're panderring because i'm sitting next to you.

>> but i mean it. it looks pretty good.

>> we have all, by the way, matt, carson, and al and i have chosen men's health charities. go to today.com and see which one we have chosen and if you decide to help out a little bit the organizations would