A very good campaign video by Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa.
Bowel cancer is one of the cancers we don’t like to talk about, as anything around that area can be a bit yucky. But it is the number two cancer killer in New Zealand. Almost as many people die from bowel cancer as from breast and prostrate cancer combined. Around 1,200 NZers a year die from it and 3,000 get diagnosed. This is one of the highest rates in the world.
Your lifetime risk of bowel cancer is 1 in 18 for men and 1 in 23 for women and can affect people of any age (but more common over 50). The good news is the 75% of bowel cancer cases are treatable if caught early enough.
So what are the symptoms of bowel cancer. They include:
- Bleeding from the bottom or seeing blood in the toilet after a bowel motion
- Change of bowel motions over several weeks without returning to normal
- Persistent or periodic severe pain the abdomen
- A lump or mass in the abdomen
- Tiredness and loss of weight for no particular reason
More info on symptoms and screening is on the Beat Bowel Cancer website.
In England the five year survival rate for those diagnosed early is 93%. For those diagnosed at Stage D (late) it is only 7%.