Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. Statistically, one in 12 people will be diagnosed with bowel cancer in their lifetime.
People perceive bowel cancer to mainly be diagnosed in people over 55 years of age, but data shows that more younger Australians are being diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The great news is that ongoing education and introduction of screening has allowed for early detection.
Early detection is the key to best outcomes and 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully if found early. Screening every 1 to 2 years is the best way to ensure early detection of bowel cancer.
Australian designed Bowel Screening Kits are readily available and allow you take an easy test at home. The test ensures privacy, is non-invasive and very accurate and can be undertaken without waiting for symptoms.
Being aware of your family history in relation to bowel cancer will also assist you in prevention as 25% of cases are related to family history.
What are some symptoms to be aware of
- Blood in the bowel movement
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent change in bowel habit
- Severe abdominal pain
If you have some of these symptoms it is best to speak to your GP to discuss methods of diagnosis and testing. Your GP may recommend you see a specialist doctor to perform a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that examines the large bowel and helps with the diagnosis of bowel cancer and other conditions of the bowel.
Lifestyle and its impacts
Having a sedentary lifestyle with poor eating habits of packaged and processed foods have been identified as possibly leading to early onset bowel cancer. So the best defence you have to stave off bowel cancer is to include regular exercise and take care of your diet and make healthy choices.
Need some more information on bowel cancer?
Download the free Bowel Cancer Australia App or see your GP to learn more about healthy changes and early detection.
If you want support call 1800 555 494.
All statistics are from bowelcanceraustralia.org