Help us to stop bowel cancer


Dads, brothers, sons, nephews, grandads, uncles – we need you! It’s that time of year again when we ask you to grow a beard throughout December and raise money to support vital research and lifesaving work to stop bowel cancer.

The rules are simple, just clean shave on 30 November and let your facial hair flourish throughout December

Already bearded? Ditch or dye your beard for December and get sponsored to sport a new look for the month. If facial hair is not your thing, why not help us promote the fundraiser on social media or download our A4 poster and A5 flyer to put up at work and in your local community.

You can also join in the fun and help spread the word. Download and cut out our purple beard, take photos with your family and friends then share on your Facebook or Twitter. Don't forget to tag Bowel Cancer UK.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer. However it shouldn’t be. It’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

Men and bowel cancer

  • Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in men in the UK
  • Around 23,000 men are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year (England 18,839, Wales 1,336, Scotland 2,114 and Northern Ireland 668)       
  • 1 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% of all male cancer deaths

Sign up for Decembeard 2016 below

Read Richard's story...

"In April 2007 I was diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer after experiencing a change in bowel habit. A few weeks later I had major surgery followed by 6 months of chemotherapy.  All rather debilitating and unpleasant!

The following March I was told that I had a 99% chance of a secondary cancer in my liver but, following more major abdominal surgery in the June, that diagnosis proved to be 100% wrong which was a massive relief. So, I got away with it, and am a 'cancer survivor' (as some title us).  And now you'd never know it as I race hundreds of miles a week on my bicycle and am able to carry on as if nothing ever happened.  The legacy for me being, physically, just annoying inconvenience and a lot of wind!

However, there are many, many people who don't have my good fortune.  The luckier ones are still here, but have to contend with significantly worse side effects. The unlucky are no longer with us. So that is why I decided to take part in Decembeard.

I would thoroughly recommend taking part in Decembeard!  Not only is it fun for a bloke to see what he can achieve in just 31 days, and you can raise some much need money to boot, but you will be asked by dozens of people why you are growing a beard.  You will then be able to highlight bowel cancer – which is all too often forgotten about or a subject avoided as a result of our polite British culture.  And because people don’t talk about their bowel habits many people like me have no idea that they are experiencing the early, or much later, stages of bowel cancer.  It took over 6 months for me, a 40 year old at the time, to go to my GP.  Whereas, if I had met you and your beard the year before, and thereby have been in a position to have you asked about bowel cancer, I may well have been sorted out long before it became life threatening and leaving me with a lifetime of ‘inconvenience’. 

Imagine that, just by growing a beard, you could save the premature death or a life of ‘inconvenience’ for someone…"