When Director Richard Griffin AM was in preparatory school, he was given some medical advice by the Matron: ‘Listen to your body and act on it.’

“She drilled into us that it was not “sissy” or “weak” to talk about one’s concerns with medical professionals,” says Richard.

That advice probably saved Richard’s life.

Bowel Cancer Australia is excited to have been selected as a charity beneficiary for the 2020 Dry July campaign. 
 
2020 has been a challenging year. So this July, the Dry July Foundation has introduced some new options.
 
They're calling it Dry(ish) July.
 
Challenge yourself to 31 days dry, or this year, have a Dry(ish) July and choose 21 or 14 days dry.
 

A new Australian study has found the rates of bowel cancer in people under 50 continue to rise, supporting Bowel Cancer Australia’s Never2Young campaign to lower the screening age from 50 to 45.
 
Published in the ANZ Journal of Surgery (8 June 2020), the Gold Coast study found growing evidence of increasing rates of bowel cancer in people under age 50 after reviewing 557 patients who received a colonoscopy between 2013 and 2017.
 

Visible bowel cancer symptoms are NOT NORMAL. They require prompt investigation to rule out bowel cancer as the underlying cause.
 
With over 325 new cases and 108 deaths estimated weekly (16,938/5,597 annually - AIHW 2019), during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this June, Australian’s are reminded that despite the NEW NORMAL, some things remain NOT NORMAL, such as - 
 

Did you know, the rates for bowel cancer have been declining among adults over 50, but rising in adults UNDER 50?
 
Unfortunately, young-onset patients are more likely to be diagnosed with bowel cancer in Stage 3 or 4, when the disease is harder to treat. Missed symptoms and misdiagnosis can often delay the correct diagnosis in young-onset cases. 
 

The impact of promotion and advertising campaigns on bowel cancer awareness and screening-uptake is clear when reviewing data released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
 
Dating back to 2014, the numbers show more National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) kits are completed in the June and September quarters every year than at any other time, highlighting the important influence Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is having on people’s behaviour.
 

Bowel cancer remains Australia’s second deadliest cancer, yet data released today shows people continue to decline the invitation to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP).
 
In 2017-18, slightly more than 5 million people aged 50-74 were invited to participate in the NBCSP, but only 2.1 million (42.4%) took up the offer.
 

Ahead of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in June, Australians are being urged that despite uncertainties due to COVID-19, early detection of the disease cannot and should not stop, even during a pandemic.
 
The sharp decline in GP visits for people seeking treatment in the wake of the pandemic could result in bowel cancers being undiagnosed, or prolong the time to diagnosis, leading to poorer long-term outcomes.
 

I joined the Bowel Cancer Australia Board for both professional and personal reasons.
 
I started my career as a physiotherapist and then joined consulting firm, Ernst & Young, as a graduate just over 20 years ago, where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and built my career as a Risk professional, advising clients on how to create trust and value through strong governance and risk management.