Lasting the entire month of June, Bowel Cancer Awareness Month provides a tremendous opportunity to spread and reinforce messages about the importance of early detection and intervention in the successful treatment of bowel cancer, no matter what your age.
This year, media coverage of patient stories and important health messages received incredible attention and were shared across the country online, on radio, in print, and on TV, with an audience reach of nearly 7.7M, and more than 537 media articles generated, raising awareness and encouraging people to take action.
The publication of new international research in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology, highlighting the growing number of bowel cancer diagnoses among people under the age of 50, led to multiple interviews featuring Bowel Cancer Australia CEO Julien Wiggins and A/Prof Graham Newstead AM. Given the rising rates among younger people, Bowel Cancer Australia called to commence screening from age 45.
Emotional and engaging stories were shared by bowel cancer patients and loved ones alerting others that you’re #Never Too Young to have bowel cancer, as part of the charity's fifth #Never2Young week which is dedicated to highlighting the unique challenges faced by more than 1,413 young Australians diagnosed annually with the disease.
Lawrence Penn Chair of Bowel Cancer Research Prof Mark Molloy had the opportunity to discuss the research he is doing to uncover the triggers that drive bowel cancer on national news and Bowel Cancer Australia’s Colonoscopy Wait Time Guarantee also received media attention, with the wait time for follow-up colonoscopies in bowel cancer detection being labelled the "Achilles heel of the screening process" by Bowel Cancer Australia CEO Julien Wiggins.
Red Apple Day was once again a high point in the month, bringing together Australians nationwide to show their support for the vital work of Bowel Cancer Australia through apple-themed fundraising activities.
Professor Molloy hosted two fundraising and awareness events which included tours of his lab at the Kolling Institute, where guests were able to see the new mass spectrometers his team is using for proteomic and metabolite analyses; while Bowel Cancer Australia Ambassadors and spokespeople used the day to discuss the important work Bowel Cancer Australia is doing to address the many unmet needs of bowel cancer patients and loved ones.
This year, the occasion also created an opportunity to see Canberra’s Old Parliament House and Brisbane’s Story Bridge aglow in red and green.
The month ended with the announcement of the Golden Nugget Facebook competition which encourages Aussies to “Check your poo.”
The innovative online Facebook competition was developed to get over the yuck factor and reach younger Aussies who are also at risk, but wrongly assume bowel cancer is an old person’s disease.
After completing a short quiz, participants can enter to win a Golden Nugget worth $5,000.
The winner of the competition will be announced on September 6th. To enter, visit the goldennugget.com.au.
As we wrap up and reflect on another incredible Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Bowel Cancer Australia would like to gratefully acknowledge the many individuals who got involved in big and small ways. We simply could not achieve all that we do without your support.
Thank you for helping to make real change happen!