The month of November is drawing to a close, and with it comes the end of men’s health month (aka Movember). However, this does not mean we should stop discussing these issues! December is the month of raising awareness of Bowel Cancer, and has rebranded to Decembeard – So put those shavers down guys!
So What is Bowel Cancer?
Bowel cancer is the general name for any cancer that begins in your bowel (the long tube that connects your stomach to your back passage). It is the third most common type of cancer in the UK, with most people diagnosed being men over the age of 60.
However, it is also one of the most preventable cancers! There is a lot that can be done to reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer, such as; exercising, giving up smoking, and eating a high-fibre, low-fat diet.
To detect cases of bowel cancer earlier, the NHS screens people who may be at an increased or particular risk. All you have to do to ensure you get screened is to be registered with a GP in England. The two main types of screening are:
● Faecal occult blood test: a home test kit is used by you to collect a sample of stool, which is then sent for testing
● Bowel scope screening: this involves using a thin tube with a camera on the end to look at the inside of the bowel
This December, you can help us beat bowel cancer by getting involved in Decembeard, Bowel Cancer UK’s sponsored beard grow! How much easier could it get?! You simply pack away the razor and allow your beard to grow for the month of December to raise awareness and money, supporting vital research to help stop bowel cancer in its tracks. And, because you don’t have to shave, you’ll get a few well-deserved lie-ins for your efforts!
What Can I Do to Take Part?
To take part, you simply have to clean shave on November 30th, sit back, and watch your beard take on a life of its own. Already have a magnificent facial growth to be proud of? You can still get involved – why not dye your beard the wackiest colour you can think of and get sponsored to sport a new style for the month?
If you’re thinking that your boss or significant other may not appreciate your new laid-back look, then you still don’t have to miss out! Log onto Bowel Cancer UK’s official website at http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/, where you can download your very own cut out and keep purple beard - hold this up to your face and, hey presto, you have a removable beard. Get happy with your selfie stick and post your picture to your social media, and encourage others to get involved too. Every little helps!
Someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes in the UK, and a devastated family lose someone to bowel cancer every half an hour, but this doesn’t have to be norm. The more people that support the cause the stronger we stand to take on and beat bowel cancer! – Supporting those affected along the way.
By visiting the official Decembeard website at www.decembeard.org today, you can sign up and become someone’s champion. Many people who sign up to grow a Decembeard have had a personal experience with bowel cancer, whether they have had bowel cancer themselves, have an affected loved one or have lost someone to the disease.
Whether you’re planning to grow a beard, dye your existing beard, or try something totally different, such as hosting an event or taking on a physical challenge, there are also lots of creative fundraising ideas on the Decembeard official website.
So, head on over to www.decembeard.org/challenges to get started – we know you can do it!
Dr Seth Rankin is Founder of London Doctors Clinic