Red Aussie Apple Day 17th June – Bowl Cancer Awareness Month…Join The Bowel Movement - June 2015

According to information from Bowl Cancer Australia the majority of young Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer – the country's second biggest cancer killer – are unaware about their risk and are being diagnosed too late, according to a new Bowel Cancer Australia survey released today.

Interim results from the Never Too Young survey, the first-of-its-kind on early-onset bowel cancer, also found that more than half of patients were first diagnosed with Stage 3 or 4 of the disease. This means the cancer has already spread beyond the bowel to lymph nodes or other organs.

Bowel Cancer Australia chief executive Mr Julien Wiggins said the findings, which have been released to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this June, are alarming considering bowel cancer can be successfully treated if detected early.

"The Never Too Young survey revealed that almost 80 per cent of early-onset bowel cancer patients were not aware of their risk prior to diagnosis. Worryingly, almost a third surveyed waited three months or more to seek medical advice, despite experiencing tell-tale symptoms such as blood in the bowel movement or abdominal pain," he said.

Close to 1,100 Australians under the age of 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer and more than 200 die from the disease each year. Additionally, the latest AIHW Fatal Burden of Disease report found bowel cancer was one of the leading causes of premature mortality in 25-44 year olds in 2010.

Mr Wiggins said there is a common misconception that bowel cancer is just an 'old person's disease'.

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