June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month!

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in Australia and the second most deadliest. However it is often completely preventable if you are making the right decisions in your daily life and diet. This issue has in fact become so prevalent that Bowel Cancer Australia has developed their signature event Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to an entire month of education and awareness. This public education initiative encourages those who may be experiencing symptoms related to bowel cancer as well as those who are considered high risk for its development and even those who have no symptoms to have a screening with their gastroenterologist.

Remember that early detection and prevention is always better than treatment. If you are aged 50-74, The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program will send you a free bowel cancer screening kit every two years. Through regular screening, you are making a wise decision to ensure that any possible issues are detected early. Like many other forms of cancer, the symptoms of bowel cancer often will not present themselves until there is already a serious problem. This is one of the many reasons that over 100 Australians lose their lives every week to this terrible and often silent killer. So let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure that you and your loved ones are taking the right steps to avoid this very preventable disease.

What to eat and what not to eat to help prevent bowel cancer

When it comes to a diet that can help prevent bowel cancer, it’s important to eat plenty of fibre. This can be found in wholegrains, fruits, and vegetables. Fibre helps keep your bowels healthy and moving regularly, which reduces the risk of developing bowel cancer. In addition, it’s a good idea to limit your intake of processed meats and red meat. Processed meats, such as bacon, ham, and sausages, are high in salt and nitrates, both of which can increase your risk of bowel cancer. Red meat is also high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can contribute to the development of the disease.

What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?

There are a number of symptoms associated with bowel cancer, which is why it is important to be aware of what they are and to see a doctor if any are present. Some of the most common symptoms include changes in bowel habits (such as constipation or diarrhoea), blood in the stool, abdominal pain or swelling, and fatigue. Bowel cancer can also cause nausea and vomiting, weight loss, and shortness of breath. It is important to note that not everyone who experiences these symptoms has bowel cancer, but it is nonetheless important to get them checked out by a gastrointestinal doctor if they persist.

So get involved this June with Bowel Cancer Awareness Month by fundraising for the cause, informing others about this initiative or simply educating yourself about bowel cancer. If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our gastrointestinal specialists, contact us today to speak with our friendly staff.

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