Growing your beard for Decembeard

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In just a few days, men up and down the country will be growing their beards to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK, and it's not too late to sign up and show your support for the campaign too.

Men growing beards in December for Decembeard will be in good company as former England cricketer Chris Read is supporting the campaign too.

“My first cricket coach died from bowel cancer and as a consequence my awareness of this disease increased greatly.

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“He was a wonderful man who, along with his family, became great friends and that’s why I became a patron of Bowel Cancer UK.

“That’s also why I’m encouraging sons, dads, brothers, uncles, nephews and granddads to join together this Decembeard and show their support for the charity.”

The rules are simple, just clean shave on November 30 and let your facial hair flourish throughout the month of December in the run up to Christmas.

Already bearded? No problem. Dye, ditch or decorate your beard and join the campaign.

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More than 44 people die from bowel cancer every day in the UK, it’s the nation’s second biggest cancer killer.

However it shouldn’t be. It’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

Men’s bowel cancer facts:

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in men in the UK

• Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer, affecting both men and women

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• Around 23,000 men are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year (England 18,839, Wales 1,336, Scotland 2,114 and Northern Ireland 668)

• One in 14 men will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime

• Men are less likely to recognise the symptoms of bowel cancer, to see their GP if they recognise symptoms or return the bowel cancer screening test

• Bowel cancer accounts for 10 per cent of all male cancer deaths

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• Bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer. However, this drops significantly as the disease develops.

Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer. Other health problems can cause similar symptoms. But if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, go to see your GP.

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