Men’s Health Awareness – Bowel Cancer

Thousands of men shaved off their moustaches today for men’s health. #movember

For some this is a great day, yet others will miss their fury little caterpillars.

All in the effort to raise awareness. Too many men die from preventable causes.

By the way, click here to donate to the a Movember Foundation!

So this blog is dedicated to just that, raising awareness of mens health and specifically bowel cancer – one easily detectable and more often than not, treatable form of cancer that unfortunately kills thousands of Australians every year.

Each month I update the worlds most exclusive blog – “The Bog Blog”. This blog is only read by those who sit upon the two porcelain thrones in our facility.  However, the last two editions have spoke about the very important issue of bowel cancer and we have decided to share them with the world.

Just this once.

It is okay to talk about bowel cancer.

It is okay to go into a pharmacy and buy a bowel cancer testing kit.


Because it is estimated that 17,520 people have been diagnosed with it in 2016 so far.

A friend of mine recently came to me asking if Witness The Fitness would like to be involved with an awareness campaign called ‘The Paddington Push’’. His father recently passed away due to bowel cancer and alongside his brother, they want to spread the message that “It is okay to talk about bowel cancer”.

Of course, WTF is now involved with a local community event based purely on creating awareness. Details are yet to be finalised but it revolves around a hill-sprint time trial on one of Paddington’s steepest streets.

What is B.C?

Most bowel cancers develop from tiny growths called ‘polyps’.  Not all polyps become cancerous.

Over time some polyps, known as adenomas, can become cancerous (malignant).  Cancer can narrow and block the bowel or cause bleeding.  In more advanced cases, the cancer can spread beyond the bowel to other organs.

As most bowel cancers start as polyps, all polyps should be removed to reduce your risk of developing the disease. Almost all polyps can be removed without an operation during the procedure of colonoscopy.

Once removed from the bowel, the polyp can no longer develop into cancer.  Even if a polyp develops into cancer, in its early stages it can be cured by surgery.

Who is at risk? (for both men & women)

Age – risk rises sharply and progressively from the age of 50

A family history of bowel cancer
A personal history of cancer of the colon, rectum, ovary, endometrium, or breast
A history of polyps in the colon
A history of ulcerative colitis (ulcers in the lining of the large intestine) or Crohn’s disease

What can you do to test?

So easy. Go to a pharmacy, look for ‘ColoVantage’ or ‘Bowel Screen’. It’s an envelop that you can just grab, for free, and walk out the door. Take it home, follow the instructions in the privacy of your own bathroom and simply pop the envelope in the mail.

You hardly have to lift a finger!

There is a tool in the envelope for that..

Bowel Cancer No.2 – Words From Real People

Amanda – My mum was in her mid to late 40s when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She died at the age of 50, when I was 27, 11 years ago this year.

Mum had experienced symptoms for some time, starting with bowel upsets, stomach pain and changes in her bowel habits. The doctors suggested it was gastro, then Irritable Bowel Syndrome – you name it, they suggested it. When I look back it felt as though they were fobbing her off. They never suggested looking into what was causing the problems.

After having a bout of bleeding, her GP finally suggested a colonoscopy. During the colonoscopy they found a tumour the size of a doughnut, which had spread through the wall of the bowel and infiltrated her lymph. The specialist believed it could have been there for three to five years considering its advancement.

Alan, 48 – I got my Rotary bowel test kit from a chemist in 2009. The staff was giving them away so I thought I might as well do one. Two weeks later, the results of the test were sent to my GP and they were positive. I was on holiday in New Zealand when I received an email from the surgery asking me to contact my doctor as soon as possible. When I got back, I went straight to my doctor and was told I had bowel cancer.

Looking back I realise I should have gone to the doctor much sooner. I had been seeing blood in my stool from time to time for about three years but had put the bleeding down to haemorrhoids. Thank goodness for that bowel kit, or I might still be oblivious today…

Anon – I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 37, totally unexpected at such a young age.

The only real experience I’d had with the disease was watching my grandfather live with a colostomy bag after the removal of his bowel when I was a child. But I no longer consider this an ‘old man’s disease’.

I had been experiencing rectal bleeding on and off for about six months before I was diagnosed, but it wasn’t until I started feeling stomach pain that I decided to see my GP.

These are real stories from real Australians. BC is real and it is close to home.Check the bowl for blood.

It is a very simple way of checking if you might have bowel cancer. If you can see light coloured blood, it is possibly just rectal bleeding and you should keep an eye out for more in the next few days/weeks. If it is dark in colour, you must grab a testing kit or see you doctor as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, ask myself or visit Bowel Cancer Australia

Tristan M. Forbes