It’s that time of year again, decorations, presents, family, general craziness, but did you know that December is also the time of year to raise awareness and funds for Bowel Cancer research? It’s called ‘Decembeard’ and it’s a whole lot of fun!
In this Country Bowel Cancer is the second biggest Cancer killer and is estimated to represent 12.4% of all new cancers diagnosed in 2017 in Australia. 14,114 people have died in our country this year alone from bowel cancer and more awareness needs to be raised to shine a light on this awful disease.
As we get older, the chances of developing Bowel Cancer, also known as Colorectal Cancer, increase and these numbers go up again if there is a family history of the disease. It is therefore important to know your family medical history, around 25% of all Bowel Cancers diagnosed have a family history. 50 years of age is when it is best to start regular screening through Colonoscopy’s however if there is a strong family line, earlier screening is recommended, usually around 30. The earlier Bowel Cancer is detected, the better the outcome but as the symptoms can be mistaken for other things, it is often found later when the outcome is not as favourable. Symptoms can include but are not limited to, unexplained weight loss, blood in the stool, fixed abdominal pain, general unexplained changes in bowel habits.
As with most disease, keeping as fit and healthy as possible helps to prevent Bowel Cancer from developing along with regular screening for early detection. Lowering alcohol consumption, eating more chicken and fish than red meat, which can be inflammatory and hard to digest, and eating a high fibre diet of leafy greens and vegetables are all important. Inflammation is the beginning of many diseases in the body so keeping it low not just with diet but with lifestyle is also important; stress relief activities, Acupuncture, Yoga and Meditation are all great options.
This Cancer affects males and females alike with a slightly higher incidence in males. For many years funds have been raised to help research and fight this cancer but for the last 4 years, Bowel Cancer Australia has been running ‘Decembeard’. This is the fifth year and much like Movember, it centres around facial hair. If you have none, you can register with a goal amount and start fundraising and growing some chin fluff. If you have stubble, you can begin growing a glorious beard and if you already have hipster standard growth, you can decorate it with different festive joy all season!
So why not get involved this Season whether yourself, your partner, brother, father, uncle or even a group of friends and raise some fun awareness and funds for bowel cancer.
The link to Decembeard is below and if you have any concerns about Bowel Cancer symptoms or family History, please see your GP.
Statistics taken from https://www.bowelcanceraustralia.org/bowel-cancer-facts