21 April 2024

World Cancer Day: ‘Get off your butt’, urges Bowel Cancer NZ

As the World Cancer Day is being celebrated globally today (4 February), the Bowel Cancer NZ is urging Kiwis to ‘get off your butt’ and get checked for bowel cancer.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world with more than 3,000 people diagnosed each year. One in every 18 Kiwis is estimated to develop bowel cancer in their lifetime. This is also the second-highest cause of cancer deaths in our country.

In order to create more awareness, the charity has launched an awareness campaign, “Get Off Your Butt” this month (February) to remind people symptoms may come and go, but you don’t wait and get it diagnosed early if you have any concerns.

‘Don’t ignore symptoms, consult GP’ (Courtesy/BowelCancerNZ)

Bowel cancer – also known as colorectal or colon cancer can affect people of all ages. Over 350 people aged under 50 are diagnosed each year.

“Recent stats show that 1 in 10 New Zealanders under the age of 50 are being diagnosed with this cancer. I have had patients as young as 30 years who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer,” says Dr Mandeep Kang, a Hamilton GP.

Bowel Cancer NZ emphasis is the more we know about bowel cancer, the better the chances of beating it.

Bowel cancer affects the colon (large bowel) or rectum (also known as rectal cancer). But as it can be easily missed, therefore, it is important to know and look out for bowel cancer symptoms.

“There is no specific symptom of bowel cancer as there can be an overlap of symptoms with less serious bowel conditions… (but) there are some ‘red flags’ that can make me, as a clinician, suspicious of bowel cancer,” says Dr Kang.

Any bleeding from bottom could be a sign to get it checked

As bowel cancer is beatable and treatable, the charity is urging you not to sit on your symptoms, get it checked out.

Bowel Cancer NZ advices if you have any of the following concerns, no matter what your age, you should not wait and consult your GP:  

  • Bleeding from the bottom(rectal)
  • Change of bowel motions or habits that come and go over several weeks
  • Anaemia (iron deficiency)
  • Persistent or occasional abdominal pain
  • Lump or mass in the stomach, and
  • Tiredness or loss of weight for no obvious reason

“If you have any symptoms which aren’t settling, trust your gut instinct. Just go and get checked, even if you think it’s nothing,” says Dr Anne Mathieson, a bowel cancer survivor.

The National Bowel Screening Programme – rolled out by the Ministry of Health in 2017, offers free annual self-testing pack for eligible participants (who do not have symptoms of bowel cancer) between the ages of 60 to 74 years.

If a test result is positive, participants are invited for additional screening, usually a colonoscopy. 

However, bowel screening is not right for everyone. You should not take part, for example, if you have symptoms of bowel cancer.

Also read: https://www.newsviews.co.nz/bowel-cancer-if-youre-not-worried-you-should-be-warns-a-gp/

Click to Like NewsViews

One comment:

  1. Thank you so much…It’s wonderful to receive additional coverage from a community-focused news portal in Hamilton. We really appreciate your support in generating greater awareness!

Comments are welcome

Get Noticed –  

from NewsViews

Like NewsViews

Advertise here

Support us- we are local