Its time in February to get your rear into gear and find out more about bowel cancer.
In Australia, bowel cancer is the second most deadliest cancer and ominously, develops without warning.
Bowel or colorectal cancer is found in the large bowel colon or rectum. Most bowel cancers begin as benign growths called polyps usually along the lining or wall of the bowel. If the polyps become adenomatous they can then turn malignant therefore developing into a cancerous tumour.
Bowel cancer is not something that just afflicts older people, it affects men and women, young or old.
Did you know…
1 in 13 Australians develop bowel cancer in their lifetime.
30% of people diagnosed have indicators such as family history or a hereditary contribution .
70% have no family history and no hereditary contribution
Almost 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated if detected early enough
The risk of developing this cancer increases sharply from 50 years and up yet the number of those under 50 being diagnosed is steadily increasing
Do you know your symptoms?
Screening becomes your biggest weapon against bowel cancer because in the early stages, there may be no obvious symptoms. Screening will increase your chances of early detection.
Pain or lump in the anus or rectum
Changes to your bowel movements, that may or may not include rectal bleeding (can be might be diagnosed as haemorrhoids.
A feeling that the bowel has not emptied completely after a bowel movement
Abdominal pain or swelling
What can you do to combat bowel cancer?
Maintain a healthy weight range
Cut out smoking
limit alcohol consumption
include foods that have dietary fibre
How does screening work?
You can do this at home! If you are over 50 and have not family history you can use the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) every 1 to 2 years
Simply place a small sample of toilet water or a stool on the special card provided for (FIT) test. The kit includes a postage paid envelope, for the samples mailed to a pathology lab. After the analysis is completed it is sent to your GP
For more information of screening, symptoms or what you can do to take better care of your bowel health click on the link below