bowel cancer image

Our aim is to stop people dying of embarrassment!

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.

Bowel cancer in younger people (49 years of age or less)

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.

Symptoms of bowel cancer

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:

  • Blood or mucus in the faeces
  • An unexpected change in bowel habit (for example, diarrhoea or constipation for no obvious reason)
  • General discomfort in the abdomen (feelings of bloating, fullness, pain, cramps)
  • Constant tiredness
  • Weakness and paleness

Having these symptoms does not mean that you have bowel cancer. People experiencing these Symptoms should discuss them with their doctor.

Reducing your risk of bowel cancer

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:

  • Eating a healthy diet, including plenty of vegetables and fruit and only small amounts of animal fat
  • Eating moderate amounts of lean red meat as part of a mixed diet including carbohydrates (breads and cereals), vegetables and fruit, and dairy products
  • Eating limited amounts of processed meats
  • Exercising regularly
  • Not smoking or drinking too much alcohol

Caring for someone with bowel cancer

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.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Colorectal specialist
  • Multilingual Cancer Information Line, Victoria Tel. 13 14 50
  • Cancer Council Helpline Tel. 13 11 20

Things to remember

  • If you are 50 years of age or over, talk to your doctor about bowel cancer and screening.
  • Most bowel cancers diagnosed at an early stage are curable.
  • If you are at risk of bowel cancer, discuss with your doctor whether you need to have regular tests.
  • You can reduce your risk of bowel cancer by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising regularly and not smoking.

Visit us in store so for more information and Bowel Screening Test.

Mary Mickael, Pharmacist Manager

  • Community Pharmacy

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