Decembeard: beards for bowel health

Decembeard collateral banner, shows man with beard

Bowel Cancer Australia will join with Australians across the country starting Tuesday, December 1st to help raise funds and awareness about the disease which kills more than 2,200 men each year, for Decembeard 2015 (Dec 1st – 31st).

In a bid to get Aussies talking about the cancer that will affect one in 10 Australian men in their lifetime, the charity has created the website as part of a national awareness drive, where visitors can sign-up to take the Decembeard challenge and grow a beard or sponsor someone who is.

There are also opportunities available for those who already have a beard, or can’t grow a beard themselves, including women and children, to get involved and show their support by making, baking or faking a beard, or just by donating.

“As Australian’s most accessible healthcare providers, community pharmacists are ideally positioned to take an active role in health awareness initiatives like Decembeard,” says Claire Annear, Community Engagement Manager of Bowel Cancer Australia.

“Community pharmacies can get involved in a variety of ways,” Annear says, “by participating in the challenge itself and encouraging customers to do the same, offering age appropriate screening, and having a conversation about bowel cancer risk.”

She says pharmacies can also promote the campaign through in-store displays including campaign posters and flyers which can be downloaded or ordered from the Decembeard website here.

“Starting a conversation about bowel cancer, which is the third biggest cancer killer of men, can sometimes be difficult,” says Annear.

“Decembeard was designed as a fun and unconventional way to break the ice and have that chat.”

More than 8,000 men will be diagnosed with bowel cancer this year, says colorectal surgeon, A/Prof Graham Newstead .

“It’s time for Aussie men to man up, show their support by growing some fuzz, and get to know the facts about bowel cancer. Because if detected early, around 90 per cent of cases can be successfully treated,” A/Prof Newstead says.

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