After completing bowel cancer treatment, your focus may shift to returning to work.
Give yourself enough time to recover from your bowel cancer surgery and/or treatment and don’t feel pressured into returning to work before you are ready.
Many patients describe a change in their worldview after having faced bowel cancer, resulting in their priorities shifting, especially in relation to their career goals and their definition of success.
Others express hesitation about returning to work due to fears of recurrence, a decreased sense of self-efficacy, and general anxiety related to re-integrating after being away.
With these challenges in mind, it may be hard to see the positive side of returning to work.
If you’ve ever had cancer, you’re likely to remember the day you received your diagnosis and the last day of treatment as easily as you remember your own birthday.
When you reach your five-year anniversary, the day can be particularly poignant, because it is often considered a benchmark at which time the chances of cancer returning drops significantly.
The good news is that there are more people celebrating five-year anniversaries than ever before as a result of earlier detection and more effective treatment.
However, anyone who has had cancer faces the possibility of cancer recurrence and has a slightly increased risk of developing another cancer compared to those who have never been diagnosed.
Only 4-in-10 people who received a tax-payer funded screeningtest in the mail during 2016-17 used it, according to the latest data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing (AIHW).
The results were disappointing, revealing little change in participation rates in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) over recent years.
Between January 2016 and December 2017, only four in ten (41.3%) Australians invited to screen took up the potentially life-saving opportunity.
Participation was lowest in Halls Creek, Western Australia, at just 8%.
The highest uptake was seen in Yorke Peninsula – South, in South Australia, where 59% of those invited to participate returned their samples for testing.
Bowel Cancer Australia is calling on Federal, State and Territory governments to increase funding for colonoscopies to reduce wait-times to 30 days and minimise patient distress and anxiety.
The call comes in the wake of independently analysed interim-results of Bowel Cancer Australia’s My Colonoscopy Experience, to mark the 2019 Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late campaign.
More than 1,400 Australians participated in the national survey – the first of its kind – addressing the patient experience before, during and after a colonoscopy procedure.