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Bowel Cancer: Symptoms and Awareness

By Tiarna Breen June 15, 2021

Bowel Cancer: Symptoms and Awareness

If you’ve ever thought about raising awareness for a bowel cancer charity, now’s the time to do it. Red Apple Day is on the 16th of June, which highlights the importance of educating ourselves on bowel cancer and giving to the charities that help study the disease. Bowel cancer takes the lives of 101 Australians every week. The frustrating thing is, this cancer is one of the most treatable kinds when caught early. This is why it is crucial to encourage regular check-ups and to provide resources so everyone can be aware of the symptoms 

Bowel cancer does not discriminate and can develop in both men and women, young and old. Let’s start talking about this disease so you can look out for yourself and your loved ones. 

The Symptoms 

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s important to get a check-up as soon as you can. Although going to the doctor with symptoms like these can be frighteningbut the sooner you go, the better. Plus, you’ll feel relieved as soon as you step out of the doctor's office knowing you’re doing everything you can to take care of yourself. 

  • Changes in your bowel movements 
  • Blood in stool 
  • A lump in the anus or rectum 
  • Weight loss 
  • Pain in the abdomen, bloating or cramping 
  • Unexplained fatigue 
  • Blood in urine 
  • The feeling of incomplete emptying 

Don’t stress yourself out entirely If you are experiencing one or multiple of these symptoms, there are hundreds of other explanations. However, the best thing you can do is go get a check-up! There is no harm in going to the doctors, and future you will be extremely thankful.  

Causes of Bowel Cancer 

As we’ve already established, bowel cancer does not discriminate. Whether you’re young, old, a man or a woman, bowel cancer can still form in your body. However, there are certain factors that make you more susceptible. 

  • Being overweight 
  • Being a smoker 
  • High red meat consumption 
  • Hereditary and genetic risk/family history 
  • Polyps 
  • High alcohol consumption 

Living a healthy lifestyle is crucial in maintaining health as you age but can become even more important if you are ever diagnosed with bowel cancer. The healthier and stronger your body is, the better you’ll be able to combat disease.  

Bowel Cancer Australia started Red Apple Day so that everyone could take part in educating themselves on this disease, even if it's just one day out of the year. Research into the prevention and treatment of bowel cancer is constantly evolving because of the generosity of people who donate to the cause. If you’re passionate about helping develop a treatment for this disease, donating on the 16th of June is the best thing you can do! 

Can You Prevent Bowel Cancer? 

Although there is no known certain prevention of bowel cancer, there are a few things you can do to help cultivate a healthy body and healthy bowels.  

  • Eat a high-fibre diet full of fruit and veg 
  • Get screened (regularly!) 
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Limit your consumption of red meat and alcohol 
  • Don’t smoke 
  • Maintain a healthy weight 
  • Educate yourself on family history

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