Background: The Movember campaign encourages men to grow a moustache during the month of November. The campaign's aims include promotion of prostate and testicular cancer awareness.
Aims: To examine the effectiveness of the Movember campaign at generating awareness of prostate and testicular cancers by examining Internet search activity.
Methods: Google Trends was used to review weekly Internet search activity from January 2004 to December 2015. We reviewed search activity for the search terms "prostate cancer", "testicular cancer", "Movember" and "moustache". The weeks in November from 2004 to 2015 were examined for changes in search activity for our chosen search terms, which could be attributed to the annual Movember campaign. Search activity was recorded weekly and scored from 0 to 100 with 100 representing peak search activity.
Results: Mean search activity for each term during the weeks of Movember campaign. However, throughout the 11 years assessed, only the term "moustache" was consistently statistically associated with increasing publicity for the Movember campaign. Cancer awareness was inconsistent. Testicular cancer shows a significant association in only one of the 11 years and prostate cancer in only 2 years.
Conclusion: We concluded that the Movember campaign is consistently linked in the public consciousness with novelty facial hair and only weakly associated with an awareness of prostate and testicular cancers. Whilst the funding generated by the campaign should be commended, more could be done to link the campaign and moustaches to awareness of common male cancers.
Keywords: Cancer awareness; Movember; Prostate and testicular cancers.