Local men are being urged to take care of their health and watch out for the early warning signs of bowel cancer as part of Decembeard, by NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
During December, thousands of men around the UK grow beards to raise funds and awareness of bowel cancer.
Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon cancer or rectal cancer.
Symptoms of bowel cancer include blood in stools (faeces), an unexplained change in bowel habits, such as prolonged diarrhoea or constipation, and unexplained weight loss.
Cancer can sometimes start in the small bowel (small intestine), but small bowel cancer is much rarer than large bowel cancer.
Dr David Wild, the district’s clinical lead for cancer, said: “Decembeard is an important awareness-raising campaign and a great way to get people talking and thinking about bowel cancer.
“Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. It’s also the most treatable when diagnosed early. So it’s important to be aware and seek medical advice from your GP should you have concerns about bowel cancer.”
For more information and advice on bowel cancer, visit the NHS Choices website: http://www.nhs.uk/bowelcancer/Pages/bowel-cancer.aspx.
To get involved with Decembeard and sign up, visit www.beatingbowelcancer.org.
Money raised by the campaign supports bowel cancer patients and their carers, as well as people worried about possible symptoms.