Reducing Bowel Cancer Risk
 

When it comes to bowel cancer there are no guarantees, but there are choices you can make and steps you can take to reduce your risk.
 
Diet and lifestyle choices, as well as screening and surveillance, can influence your bowel cancer risk.
 
Because these are things you can change (modify), they are referred to as 'modifiable' risk factors.
Modifiable Bowel Cancer Australia Risk Factors
 

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) analyses global research to provide the best advice available
regarding ways to reduce cancer risk. 
 
The 2017 report Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer was based upon -
 
99 studies from around the word   |   29 million adults   |   247,000 cases of bowel cancer

Modifiable Bowel Cancer Australia physical activity 1152v1 

Being physically active decreases the risk of colon (not rectal) cancer.

Among 18-24 year-olds, 45% of men and 51% of women are insufficiently active;
for those aged 55-64, 54% of men and 60% of women are insufficiently active. 


Modifiable Bowel Cancer Australia wholegrains 1152
 
 
Consuming wholegrains and foods containing dietary fibre decreases the risk of bowel cancer.
 
 Only one-third (34%) of all grain (cereal) foods consumed by Australians are wholegrain or high-fibre products.

Modifiable Bowel Cancer Australia calcium 1152
 
Consuming dairy products and taking calcium supplements decreases the risk of bowel cancer.
 
Less than 6% of Australian females aged 19-50 years consume more than 2 serves of dairy or dairy alternatives per day,
and only 14% of Australian males in the same age bracket do.
 
Consumption of dairy and dairy alternatives among Australians aged 51-70 is even less,
with around two-thirds of both males and females getting less than 1½ serves per day,
and one-third of Australians over age 70 consume less than 1 serve of dairy or dairy alternative daily.

Modifiable Bowel Cancer Australia screening 1152
 
Participating in bowel cancer screening reduces the risk of dying from bowel cancer.
 
Around 4 out of every 10 people (40.9%) invited to participate in the tax-payer funded National Bowel Cancer Screening Program actually do.

BowelScreen Australia Bowel Cancer Australia

Modifiable Bowel Cancer Australia red meat 1152 
Consuming red meat and processed meat increases bowel cancer risk.
 
Australians consume an estimated average of 565 grams of red meat per week. 

Modifiable Bowel Cancer Australia alcohol
 

Consuming approximately two or more of alcoholic drinks per day increases bowel cancer risk. 

Almost 1 in 5 Australian adults (18%) consume more than 2 standard drinks per day.


Modifiable Bowel Cancer Australia body fatness 1152
 
Being overweight or obese increases bowel cancer risk.
 
Being tall increases the risk of bowel cancer.
 
Nearly 2 in 3 Australian adults (63%) are overweight or obese. 

Modifiable Bowel Cancer Australia smoking 1152
 
Smoking increases bowel cancer risk.
 
Almost 1 in 8 Australian adults (13%) smoke daily.

Nutrition Lifestyle Challenge Bowel Cancer Australia