June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, so we thought we'd compile a few things you can do to support this worthy cause and make sure you keep fit and healthy!
Bowel Cancer is a "silent killer" and can develop undetected for quite some time.
According to Bowel Cancer Australia, the cancer can grow inside the bowel wall for years before it spreads to other parts of the body. It is often only then that it is caught.
So, be proactive and consider taking the following steps:
Evaluate your lifestyle
According to Bowel Cancer Australia, there are a number of ways you can reduce the risk of developing this disease – and they all involve making healthier lifestyle choices.
Maintaining a healthy body weight through regular physical activity – at least 30 minutes a day – is paramount.
Altering your diet so that is rich in fruit, vegetables and fibre, as well as limiting your alcohol consumption and not smoking are also steps you can take to help avoid developing this condition.
Request a bowel cancer screening kit
If you are aged 50 or over, and do not have a family history or any existing symptoms of bowel cancer, we encourage you to take part in this national bowel screening program.
It involves a simple test that you can do in the comfort of your own home. The results of this test will be analysed by a pathology laboratory, who will then be able to let you know whether you are at risk of developing this cancer.
Studies have demonstrated that bowel screening tests like this can reduce a person's risk of dying from bowel cancer by 15 to 33 per cent if they are undertaken at least every two years.
The kits can be purchased at participating pharmacies, or by contacting Bowel Screen Australia.
Organise an insurance policy
It pays to be prepared so that, if you do have bowel cancer, you can get the treatment you need.
An Australian health insurance policy will allow you to be treated as a private patient in a public or private hospital, choose which doctor will care for you, and cover costs such as hospital accommodation and theatre fees.
However you do it, make sure to show your support this Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.