Apples to beat a nasty cancer

300 Australians will be diagnosed with bowel cancer this week – talking to your doctor, regular bowel screening and plenty of fibre can save you being one of them!

Bowel cancer will be diagnosed in 300 Australians this week and the disease will claim the lives of 103 of those people (5,354 people a year)! These figures make it Australia’s second deadliest cancer after lung cancer. While risk increases with age, the disease does not discriminate, affecting people of all ages. However, bowel cancer is also one of the most treatable types of cancer, with up to 98% of cases able to be successfully treated as long as screening detects them early!

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, highlighting the impact of the disease. The campaign raises awareness as well as raising funds for Bowel Cancer Australia, the leading community-funded charity dedicated to the prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care – so everyone affected by bowel cancer can live their best life.

What can you do to help beat bowel cancer?

Talk to your doctor about screening and your level of risk. Your risk is based on factors such as family history, diet, lifestyle, age and other variables. For anybody with an average or slightly elevated risk, Bowel Cancer Australia and Ochre Health recommend a simple bowel cancer screening test, called a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), every 2 years.

You can also spread the word and raise money for the work of Bowel Cancer Australia, possibly by hosting an apple-themed brunch, morning or afternoon tea, dinner or evening catch-up. These can be either in-person or virtual events, with participation or goodies raising funds on the Bowel Cancer Australia platform. Alternatively, you can show your support by buying a Virtual Bowel Cancer Awareness Ribbon to raise awareness, to send to somebody, or to dedicate in remembrance. These ribbons can be sent as eCards and/or pinned to Bowel Cancer Australia’s virtual apple tree.

Why the apples?

Both red and green apples are nutritious sources of dietary fibre, and eating the right amount of fibre has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of bowel cancer as well as keeping people generally healthy.

Bowel Cancer Australia has chosen as its logo a stylised apple that also appears as an abstract of the human bowel. The small hole in the apple is caused by a worm. If detected early and removed, the worm is unable to continue affecting the apple or the health of the tree. It is the same for people – if bowel cancer is detected early, it can be successfully treated, which means patients and their families can continue to enjoy a healthy life.

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