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Grow a beard - and beat bowel cancer!

Derbyshire health chiefs have challenged big-hearted fundraisers to help beat the UK’s second biggest cancer killer by growing a beard to rival Santa’s.
 
The gauntlet was thrown down this week by NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and buy healthcare for 525,000 patients.
 
The CCG wants people to raise funds for research into bowel cancer – and support patients and their families – by following in the footsteps of the famed toymaker in the crimson tunic.
 
Proceeds will go to the Decembeard campaign run during December by Beating Bowel Cancer, a registered charity.
 
The CCG this week urged people to visit Beating Bowel Cancer and sign up for the sponsored beard growing or register to take part in a string of fundraising events.
 
And, according to the website, women can join in the fun too by sponsoring their menfolk or by “making, baking or faking a beautiful beard.”
 
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
 
“The website has lots of fundraising ideas for people to consider including running, cycling, baking and selling cakes, or making a monthly donation.  
 
“Although bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest killer cancer, the good news is that it can be treated successfully in more than 90 per cent of cases if diagnosed early.”
 
Patients should see their doctor if they have had the following symptoms for three or more weeks:

  • A change in bowel habit

  • Bleeding from the bottom or blood in poo

  • A pain in the tummy.

Other symptoms include a lump in the tummy, unexplained weight loss, or unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness. The symptoms do not necessarily mean that someone has bowel cancer but it is important to visit the doctor to be checked out.
 
The chances of developing bowel cancer are reduced if people stop smoking, do not exceed the maximum daily units of alcohol recommended by the government, take at least half an hour’s moderate physical exercise five times a week, drink plenty of water, and eat lots of fibre and vegetables.
 
The main types of treatment for bowel cancer are surgery, chemotherapy and specialist radiotherapy.
 
For advice on bowel cancer, call 08450 719 301 or email nurse@beatingbowelcancer.org.
 
ENDS
 
NOTES TO EDITORS: 
 
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people. It is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire. 
 
MEDIA CONTACT:
 
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer

Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111

Email: charles.malkin@gemcsu.nhs.uk

Ref: SD/RHR/476

Derbyshire health chiefs have challenged big-hearted fundraisers to help beat the UK’s second biggest cancer killer by growing a beard to rival Santa’s.