1 in 11 Australian men will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime.
Bowel cancer affects men of all ages and the risk increases every year from age 50. Around 55% of all Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer are men.
The impact of bowel cancer in men
Bowel cancer is the third deadliest cancer in men. It kills more than 2,300 men each year.
More than 8,000 Australian men are diagnosed with the disease each year. Around 15% of those men diagnosed with bowel cancer are under age 55.
Preventing bowel cancer in men
In its early stages bowel cancer often has no obvious symptoms. However, any of the following may be suggestive of bowel cancer:
- Persistent change in bowel habit (looser more diarrhoea-like bowel movements, constipation, or smaller more frequent bowel movements)
- Change in appearance of bowel movements
- Blood in the bowel movement or rectal bleeding
- Unexplained tiredness, weakness or weight loss
- Abdominal pain, especially if severe
- A lump or pain in the rectum or anus.
Not everyone who experiences these symptoms has bowel cancer. Other medical conditions, some foods and certain medicines can also cause these changes.
However, if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms for more than two weeks, don’t delay in talking to your GP about them.
Most men who develop bowel cancer have no family history of the disease.
However, having a relative, especially a first-degree relative such as a parent, brother, sister or child with bowel cancer, can increase your risk of developing bowel cancer.
Diet and lifestyle
Choices you make related to diet, lifestyle, screening and surveillance can influence your bowel cancer risk.
Because you can change or modify these risk factors, they are referred to as ‘modifiable’. For the latest information on modifiable risk factors for bowel cancer, download this free resource.
Screening and surveillance
Bowel Cancer Australia recommends participating in screening appropriate to your personal level of risk. Discuss with your doctor what your personal risk is.
This December, grow a beard, raise funds and help beat bowel cancer in men. Visit Decembeard for more information or to donate.
Remember, if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, please make a booking with your doctor. It’s not worth the risk!
Source: Decembeard Australia
Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.