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June is bowel cancer awareness month - Get behind it!

17th June 2021

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer death in Australia with 15,000 new cases diagnosed every year. The good news is, that with early detection, bowel cancer can be treated in 90% of cases.

How can I reduce my risk of bowel cancer?

The Cancer Council recommends everyone over the age of 50 take part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program – look out for your pack in the mail or talk to your GP.

For those under 50, look out for these symptoms and speak to your doctor if you have any concerns: blood in stool or toilet, a recent and persistent change in your toilet habits, e.g. looser bowels or severe constipation, unexplained tiredness or weight loss or stomach pain. Risk factors include inflammatory bowel diseases or certain types of polyps, family history and increasing age. If you are worried about your risk of bowel cancer, speak to your doctor.

You can also help to reduce your risk of bowel cancer by:

  • Eating more fruit and vegetables
  • Eating less red meat and processed meats
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Doing daily physical activity
  • Not smoking

For more information visit the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program or call 1800 118 868.

To speak to a dietitian about optimising your diet to reduce your risk of bowel cancer, or to enquire about exercise groups or other services, call Macedon Ranges Health on 5428 0300.