Bowel Cancer Awareness Month | June 1 -30

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual initiative of Bowel Cancer Australia running throughout the month of June (1-30 June), to raise awareness of Australia’s second deadliest cancer.

Bowel cancer claims the lives of over 80 Australians every week. IF FOUND early,  Bowel cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer.

What is bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, can affect any part of the large bowel (colon) or rectum; it may also be referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer is located. 

 

Common Symptoms include:

  • A recent, persistent change in bowel habit
  • A change in shape or appearance of bowel movements
  • Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding
  • Frequent gas pain, cramps
  • A feeling that the bowel has not emptied completely after a bowel movement
  • Unexplained anaemia
  • Abdominal pain or swelling

Not everyone experiences symptoms, particularly in the early stages of bowel cancer.  The above symptoms may be suggestive of bowel cancer, but they can also be due to other medical conditions, some foods or medicines.

 

Don’t delay in talking to your GP is you are experiencing any of the described symptoms for two weeks or more, because when diagnosed early 90 percent of cases can be successfully treated.

Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding should never be ignored.

 

However old you are, you should never be told by your GP that you are too young to have bowel cancer.

While bowel cancer is more common in people aged 55 and over, it increasingly affects people of all ages.

Ask your GP to be referred FOR further investigations including direct to procedure.

 

Early detection of bowel cancer saves lives.

Images and content from:  Bowel Cancer Australia