Tomorrow, Wednesday 20th June is Bowel Cancer Awareness day in Australia. The aim of the day is to raise awareness and vitally needed funds to help support research in this area.
Bowel cancer claims over 80 Australian lives every week, and while it is more common in people over the age of 55, bowel cancer is increasingly affecting younger people.
Bowel cancer can be difficult to detect, as the signs and symptoms of disease can be very similar to less harmful conditions such as IBS.
Symptoms common to both IBS and bowel cancer include:
Symptoms seen with bowel cancer, but not IBS:
Also, if your IBS symptoms first occurred after the age of 50, your GP may want to run tests to rule our bowel cancer.
If you experience any of the symptoms se symptoms seen with bowel cancer, but not IBS (sometimes called alarm features or red flags), it is really important to get your symptoms checked by your GP. Your GP can run tests to rule out anything more serious, and confirm your diagnosis of IBS. Although it may be tempting, don’t just search for answers online, self-diagnose IBS and/or follow a low FODMAP diet without first seeing your GP about your symptoms.
Preventing bowel cancer - dietary changes
As with many cancers of the digestive tract, good diet and exercise can help to reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer.
Some good dietary strategies include:
Please remember, the low FODMAP diet is a therapeutic diet designed for those with IBS. Only start a low FODMAP diet if your IBS has been medically diagnosed by a GP or gastroenterologist.
Want to know more about bowel cancer? www.bowelcanceraustralia.org