Male Uprising Guernsey (MUG) is bringing back its popular #BeardUp fundraiser for the fourth year running. The local charity is once again encouraging men to embrace their facial hair and give up their razor for the month of November.
The campaign has been a huge success in previous years, with locals raising £17,226 in 2018. We are aiming to raise £20,000 this year with funds contributing towards the purchase of a much-needed new state-of-the-art prostate scanner.
Here in Guernsey, approximately 150 men present each year with symptoms or test results which indicate the possibility of prostate cancer. Of these, 60 men per year receive a positive diagnosis, of which around 16 will die.
The Channel Islands Cancer Report, released in July 2017, highlighted that prostate cancer is the islands number one cause of cancer death and is the second most common cancer in the island.
The way suspected prostate cancer is investigated has changed significantly in the last 18 months.
Now, with the advancement of magnetic resonant imaging (MRI) technology, studies have shown that a far more accurate way of diagnosing prostate cancer is to perform an MRI scan first, and if this shows an abnormality, then perform a targeted biopsy. As well as being more accurate, there is less risk of serious infection which occurred in two per cent of cases under the previous diagnosis method.
Presently in Guernsey, the island has a halfway house, the MRI scan is performed but the MSG does not have the up-to-date biopsy scanner to accurately locate the MRI abnormality for biopsy.
The newer prostate scanner is able to fuse the MRI image onto the biopsy scanner image, allowing an accurate biopsy of the abnormal area. The new equipment will reduce missed cancers and emergency admissions through infections, and patients wont have to travel to the UK for treatment.
This year, the campaign is also introducing three new initiatives, Brilliant Beard Day, Beard Up Barber and Beers for Brilliant Beards.
MUG will once again join up with local barbershop James Bransford, who will be the official Beard Up Barber and support the campaign by offering those who have taken part in MUG Beard Up a wet shave on 29th and 30th November.
The last Friday of the month will see Brilliant Beard Day, encouraging all those taking part to make their beard really stand out - however they choose. This could be with glitter, hair dye or shaping it into a quirky style.
To make the most of everyones fabulous facial fuzz, the charity will host a Beers for Brilliant Beards event at James Bransford Barber Shop on Fountain Street on Friday 29th November.
The event will be a chance for all those who have grown a grizzly to come down and meet their bearded comrades over a beer. During the event, the charity will announce who has won the Dan Smale and Lee Hope trophies for individual and corporate fundraisers of 2019, respectively.
Dan Collins, MUG committee member says; Now that we are in the fourth year of Beard Up, we wanted to do something a little bit different. Every year we see men really embracing the facial hair and starting to style their beards, so we wanted to dedicate a day to it.
We want to thank James Bransford for his support yet again this year. We hope to see all those brilliant beards at the event on the last Friday, itll be a fantastic chance for those participating to scope out the competition.
While Beard Up is a fun initiative, its about raising awareness for male cancers. Around 16 men die from prostate cancer each year and early diagnosis can make a big difference to treatment options and the long-term outcome.
The charity asks individuals to pay a £20.00 participation donation, while businesses can get their whole team involved for £250.00.
Participants will be encouraged to post their pictures on the Male Uprising Guernsey Facebook page using #BeardUp.