What is Australia’s #2 cancer?
When it comes to issues related to bums and tums…not everyone is posting about it. But working in the pharmacy we see this a lot. Not the cancer type but the bloating/gas and the aches and runny diarrhoea. That is the easy stuff-trust us!
But what isn’t so easy is detecting bowel cancer-it’s silent. No symptoms. Affects young and old. Here a stat: up to 10% are under 50 years of age. Alas, stats are too impersonal. If you don’t mind I’ll digress with a quick story of a friend who is in his thirties. One day he wakes up with pain in the stomach. A hospital visit and many hours later..he has been diagnosed with late stage bowel cancer. Doctors gave him 6 months to live. Sadly, he didn’t make it to that mark. He passed away a few years ago now-leaving behind his wife and three young children. His name was Jake*. God bless.
See February is Bowel Cancer Awareness month and we wanna spread the message of #hope. Because when people get checked up early…this cancer can be beaten. Up to 90% of the time! So don’t wait until it’s too late!
So how can you get checked? It’s a DIY kit-A simple stool sample is all that’s needed. These can be purchased from most pharmacies. Costs between $25-35. Once done you send it off in the mail and wait a few weeks for the results to come back.
Results are either positive or negative for blood. Why blood? Because it is one of the signs of bowel cancer…BUT blood could also be from other things like haemorrhoids, inflammation or polyps. Still, you definitely should get a more thorough test if your results come back positive. Usually a colonoscopy is done to verify.
If results are negative..great! But it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear either…sometimes the cancer is silent and causes no bleeding. In which cause remain vigilant and get tested every 1-2yrs. This is highly recommended if over 50 years of age.
For more details head to www.bowelcanceraustralia.org
*Name changed for the family’s privacy