Decembeard to raise bowel cancer awareness

Pharmacists are being encouraged to continue their role in increasing awareness about bowel cancer this December by getting involved in Decembeard.

The Bowel Cancer Australia fundraiser is designed to get Australians talking about the cancer that will affect one in 11 Australian men in their lifetime.

More than 8,000 Australian men are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year and around 560 (7%) of them are under the age of 50. 

“Starting a conversation about bowel cancer, which is the third biggest cancer killer of men can sometimes be difficult,” says Maria McEnery, Bowel Cancer Australia Health Promotions and Community Engagement Coordinator.

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

Men are encouraged to sign up and grow a beard or to dye or decorate their existing face fur for the month of December.

For those who can’t go grizzly, including the ladies, there are other ways to get involved such as wearing a fake beard, making a donation or holding a ‘beardy’ event and getting participants to donate to the 100% community-funded charity.

Pharmacies can get involved 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, Bowel Cancer Australia says.

The organisation is encouraging pharmacies to also promote the campaign through in-store displays including campaign posters and flyers which can be downloaded or ordered from the Decembeard website here.

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