Working together to beat bowel cancer


According to Bowel Cancer Australia, around 14,860 Australians are told they have bowel cancer every year – the highest rate of bowel cancer anywhere in the world. Men and women, young and old; bowel cancer is non-discriminatory, and it’s estimated that based on current trends, 1 in 12 Australians will develop the disease before the age of 85.*


Amidst these statistics, there is some good news. If bowel cancer is caught in time, 90 percent of cases can be successfully treated. This month is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and on 18th June 2014, Bowel Cancer Australia has its Red Aussie Apple Day. One of the greatest ways you can show your support is to understand the facts yourself, and help spread the word in your workplace to increase awareness and prevention. You can also go to Bowel Cancer Australia’s online shop and donate or purchase a Red Apple pin.


Bowel Cancer Screening

Regardless of your age, bowel cancer can develop without any obvious early signs. However, it’s recommended that men and women over the age of 50 years, even with no symptoms or family history, complete a simple at-home bowel cancer screening test to check for the first early warning signs. You can purchase a Bowel Screen Australia® kit from your closest participating pharmacy, and the instructions are easy to follow. Once you’ve done one test, Bowel Screen will inform you when your next one is due.


Eating well (including at work) will help protect you

Every day, you should make sure you enjoy a diverse assortment of foods that are high in nutritional value, including fruit, vegetables, legumes and cereals. You should adopt a lean and unprocessed meat approach, and include plenty of fish as well as reduced fat dairy, low salt foods and consume only a small or moderate amount of sugar. Limit your saturated fat, drink plenty of water and quit smoking. Click this link for more information about Bowel Cancer Prevention.


The importance of fibre

A diet that’s high in fibre is good for the health and helps reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Fresh fruit is an excellent source of fibre with the top five including apples, pears, bananas, blackberries and figs. Other fruits that also contain high quantities of fibre include apricots, avocados, oranges, grapefruit and plums/prunes. Don’t forget that to obtain maximum nutritional benefit, your fruit should be consumed raw, with skin on where possible. If you do make your own fruit juice, consume the skin and pulp as these are rich sources of fibre.


Post this on your fridge at work

Bowel Cancer Australia has prepared an infographic to raise awareness. You can download the infographic for your workplace fridge here.