Movember might be over but don"t let that Mo go to waste. DecemBeard is here, so continue to grow that facial hair to help raise awareness of bowel cancer in men throughout the month.
Every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer, making it the second biggest cancer killer. Around 34,000 people are diagnosed in England every year and though it affects men and women, more men are diagnosed with the condition. The Communities against Cancer Team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust raises awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and are encouraging local residents to show their support for the awareness campaign. The month isn"t just for those growing a beard, anyone already a face fur connoisseur can get involved by completing a beard inspired challenge. The campaign is led by bowel cancer charity, Beating Bowel Cancer, which runs the country"s only nurse-led specialist helpline for bowel cancer patients.
Alison Rushton from the Communities against Cancer Team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
''If bowel cancer is diagnosed early more than 90% of cases can be treated successfully, so it"s really important for everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms and get any changes checked out by a GP as soon as possible. It"s not just men that can get involved in DecemBeard - women can join in by donating or encouraging and supporting friends and family to take part. The great thing about this campaign is that although DecemBeard provides a fun way to raise awareness of an important health issue during the month, the health messages are relevant all year round.""
Signs and symptoms of bowel cancer could include:
- Bleeding from the bottom or blood in your poo
- A persistent change in bowel habit
- Abdominal pain
- A lump in your tummy
- Unexplained weight loss or tiredness
Anyone who has experienced symptoms for more than three weeks or more should contact their GP in the first instance. There is also a free, national bowel screening programme for all men and women aged between 60 and 74 years of age, which involves completing and returning a home test kit that is automatically sent out every two years. For more information speak to your GP or call 0800 707 60 60. For people age 75 and over can call and request a kit.
For further information about how to get involved in DecemBeard and to read more about beating bowel cancer, visit www.beatingbowelcancer.org.
For more information about the Communities Against Cancer team visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Cancer-Awareness.