Saving lives through early detection is the positive message for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. A Bowel Cancer Australia initiative, the month seeks to raise awareness of Australia's second deadliest cancer with an emphasis on prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and the best care for everyone affected by bowel cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, almost 55% of bowel cancer cases may be attributable to modifiable risk factors.
- Alcohol. The risk of bowel cancer is increased when two or more stand drinks are consumed per day
- Aspirin. Studies have shown that taking aspirin every day for at least 5 years lowers the risk of developing bowel cancer. Please consult your doctor before taking any medication.
- Body fat. The risk of developing bowel cancer increases with obesity. Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Dairy products and calium supplements. A decreased risk of developing bowel cancer has been associated with consuming 400mg of dairy products per day and calcium supplements. Speak to your doctor to find out if a calcium supplement is appropriate for you.
- Physical activity. Aim to be physically active every day and limit sedentary habits.
- Red and processed meats have been associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer. Limit the amount you eat to 500g cooked per week and avoid processed meats.
- Smoking significantly increases the risk of developing bowel cancer. Quit smoking and avoid exposure to second hand smoke.
- Consume wholegrains and dietary fibre daily to decrease the risk of bowel cancer.
Bowel Cancer Australia recommends participating in regular screening every 2 years between the ages of 50-74.
If you have any concerns about your health, please contact your GP or medical professional.