Tomorrow (1 June) marks the start of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, an initiative that aims to raise the public consciousness around Australia’s second deadliest cancer – and to raise funds for prevention, early diagnosis, research and treatment.
And since this month is all about awareness, we thought it would be a good chance to remind everyone of a few important things to keep in mind.
The disease is most common in people aged over 50 – but it affects women and men almost equally.
From 50, it’s highly recommended that you get a bowel cancer screening once every two years, but schedule a visit to your GP immediately if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Blood in bowel movements or rectal bleeding
- A persistent change in bowl habits
- Unexplained anaemia causing tiredness or weight loss
- Abdominal pain (especially if severe)
There are also some easy ways to reduce your risk of bowel cancer, including limiting your red meat consumption, keeping physically active, quitting smoking and eating lots of wholegrains and naturally high-fibre foods.
For more information, you can visit bowelcanceraustralia.org.au or call their Helpline on 1800 555 494.