The reality - bowel cancer doesn't discriminate; it affects both men and women.
The risk - bowel cancer risk increases with age or a family history.
The hope - if caught in time, 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully.
It starts with talking, it needs your action.
You should never be told that you are too young to have bowel cancer.
While bowel cancer is more common in people aged 50 years and over, bowel cancer increasingly affects all age groups.
It is a common misconception that bowel cancer is 'an old person's disease'.
Although a large majority of newly diagnosed bowel cancer cases occur in people aged 50 years and over, more than 1,000 'younger' Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year.
So bowel cancer risk is certainly something people of all ages need to be aware of.
In the early stages, bowel cancer often has no symptoms. This means that a person could have
polyps or bowel cancer and not know it.
The most common symptoms of bowel cancer are:
Having these symptoms does not mean that you have bowel cancer. People experiencing these Symptoms should discuss them with their doctor.
Researchers believe that eating a healthy diet may help prevent as many as one third of all cancers, including bowel cancer. Although there is no one diet that can prevent bowel cancer, changing your diet could help reduce your risk of cancer in general. It will also improve your overall health.
You can help to reduce your risk of bowel cancer by:
Caring for someone with cancer can be a difficult and emotional time. If you or someone you know is caring for someone with bowel cancer, there is support available. The Cancer Council Victoria booklet called Caring for someone with cancer may also be helpful to read.
Mary Mickael, Pharmacist Manager