'Be brave, don't shave' and help beat bowel cancer with Decembeard
This December, NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting Bowel Cancer UK's campaign urging men to 'Be Brave, Don't Shave' and help beat bowel cancer with Decembeard, the national campaign calling on men to lay down their razors and grow a beard. The Decembeard campaign aims to raise awareness of bowel cancer, its symptoms and the importance of early diagnosis, as well as raise funds help people affected by the disease.
Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK, affecting both men and women. Every year 41,500 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer, which equates to a diagnosis every 15 minutes, and around 16,000 people die of the disease.
However, if diagnosed at the earliest stage, bowel cancer can be treated successfully. Over 93% of people diagnosed with bowel cancer at an early stage survive for at least five years.
Dr Obi Ezeji, local GP and CCG lead who is going to be growing his own Decembeard, said: "This is the month to put down your razor and help raise awareness of bowel cancer by joining the manly ranks of men growing Decembeards."
He added: "Some symptoms of bowel cancer can be subtle and don't necessarily make you feel ill. Get to know the signs, causes and symptoms of bowel cancer, because the sooner we detect bowel cancer, the sooner we can treat it."
Beating Bowel Cancer advises people to go to the GP if they have any of the following symptoms for three weeks or more:
· A change in bowel habit
· Bleeding from the bottom or blood in your bowel motions
· Pain in your abdomen
· Lump in your abdomen
· Unexplained weight loss
· Unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness
To join the bearded community, men are encouraged to clean shave on 30 November, register with the Decembeard website, and collect sponsorship throughout December as their Decembeard grows. Dr Ezeji raised £128 with his Decembeard.