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Sheffield United football team are putting down their razors for a month and growing beards in aid of beating bowel cancer.
In an initiative similar to the popular Movember campaign for male cancers, ‘Decembeard’, as it is known, hopes to raise awareness for bowel cancer which is diagnosed in over one hundred people in the UK every day.
Experts say that over ninety per cent of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully if diagnosed early, but the stigma that some of the symptoms cause prevent patients from seeking medical help earlier.
Sheffield United goalkeeper Mark Howard said; “All you have to do is ditch your razor and get sponsored to grow a beard – or in my case, grow it longer! It’s really that simple – no mountains to climb, no bath of beans to sit in or rivers to swim. It’s a piece of cake, and your boss or partner can’t complain as it’s for a good cause.”
He added, “Unfortunately people often get embarrassed discussing bowels and faeces so bowel cancer and its symptoms are less well known than many other cancers, and this can cost lives. We want to change that. This campaign will get people talking about bowel cancer and will help raise awareness of the symptoms. This can lead to earlier diagnosis, which gives patients a better chance of survival.”
“Beating Bowel Cancer is looking for 2,500 men throughout the UK to sign up to grow a beard and raise £100 each in sponsorship to help fund the charities work supporting people with bowel cancer and their families and raising awareness of the disease, its symptoms and the need for early diagnosis.” Howard summarised.
The people behind the Beating Bowel Cancer organisation have helped support the Decembeard campaign, asking men to ‘join the manly ranks of real men’ and encouraging them to grow out their facial hair in aid of awareness and preventing bowel cancer.