Bowel Cancer Australia is excited to announce that Meat Free Week is back for its sixth year, challenging participants to give up meat for seven days and raise funds for a great cause.
“My sister was only 44 when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer,” said John-Paul Jong.
Contradicting the myth that bowel cancer only affects older people, more than 2000 Australians under the age of 55 will be told they have the disease each year.
Bowel cancer continues to be the second most common type of newly diagnosed cancer in Australia.
Once referred to as an ‘old man’s disease’, it is now understood that bowel cancer affects men (55%) and women (45%) and is increasingly common among people under the age of 50.
What isn’t understood is what's been causing the increase in frequency of early-onset bowel cancer over the past two decades, not just in Australia but in countries around the world.
According to a recent study published in Digestive and Liver Disease, the global incidence of early-onset bowel cancer is projected to continue rising by as much as 90% by 2030.
Most bowel cancers develop from polyps, which are abnormal growths in the bowel. If polyps grow unnoticed and are not removed, they may become cancerous.
The good news is that more than 75 – 90 percent of bowel cancers can be avoided through the early detection and removal of pre-cancerous polyps during colonoscopy (polypectomy), according to US research conducted by the National Polyp Study Workgroup.