A persistent change in bowel habit, especially more frequent and/or loose, diarrhoea-like motions for several weeks is a potential sign of bowel cancer.

Knowing what’s normal (for you), makes it easier to spot any changes in your bowel habit.

However, if a change lasts for more than two weeks, it could be a sign that something isn’t right, and you should discuss it straight away with your GP.
 
Today, for World Toilet Day, we are bringing your attention to the Bristol Stool Chart.
 

A new Australian study published in The Lancet suggests population-wide genetic screening for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia and Lynch syndrome, in people aged 18 to 40, would be cost effective and save lives.
 
Currently, around one in 75 people are at high genetic risk of one of these conditions, yet most are unaware of the risk or implications.
 
Experts at Monash University simulated a model of 8.3 million adults (Australia’s population aged 18 to 40) and their lifetime to age 80, assuming 50% would take part in the genetic screening.
 

Yesterday, the FDA has approved a new oral medicine called Fruzaqla (fruquintinib) for the treatment of patients with previously treated metastatic bowel cancer. 
 
Fruquintinib is a type of targeted therapy that blocks a protein called 'vascular endothelial growth factor receptor' (VEGFR).
 
It is the first chemotherapy-free treatment option to be approved for metastatic bowel cancer in more than a decade, according to Takeda, the drug’s manufacturer. 
 

In Australia, 1-in-9 new bowel cancer cases (1,716) occur in people under the age of 50 each year. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in women after breast cancer. 

Bowel cancer treatment can come with fertility risks and understanding the options for preservation of fertility is an important consideration for many patients. 

Just as all other side effects are discussed, possible impacts on reproductive function and fertility should be part of any discussion with your treating specialist before starting treatment for bowel cancer.  

A key five-year Bowel Cancer Australia campaign has reached a milestone with updated clinical practice guidelines lowering the bowel cancer screening start age recently endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
 
For the first time, population screening (for people at average risk of developing bowel cancer, i.e., without any symptoms) is recommended every two years for people aged 45-74 (previously 50-74), along with a lowering of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) start age from 50 to 45.
 
People aged 40-44 (previously 45-49) are also able to request screening via their healthcare professional prior to receiving their first NBCSP invitation.
 

HER2 (also known as ERBB2), human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, is a gene that plays a role in the control of cell growth and cell survival.
 
Some cells may have an increased number of copies of the HER2 gene (overamplification) which can cause the cells to make too many HER2 receptors (overexpression). When these changes occur, they allow abnormal cell growth and survival.
 

Did you know vacuuming the house or running after the kids could lower your risk of some cancers?
 
New research led by the University of Sydney reveals the potential benefits of vigorous incidental activity. The study suggests a total of just 4.5 minutes of vigorous activity that makes you huff and puff during daily tasks could reduce the risk of some cancers by up to 18 percent and up to 32 percent for cancers linked to physical activity.
 

On 1 November 2019, a number of changes to colonoscopy and related items came into effect, resulting in eight new MBS items and the removal of four existing items.
 
The new Medicare item numbers for colonoscopy were the most dramatic change since they were created, and while there are no restrictions for people accessing colonoscopy if they have new symptoms or a positive screening test result, many patients with a personal or family history of the disease have been affected, resulting in stress and anxiety.
 

The latest AIHW National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) Report (2020-21) reveals participation rates in the Government program have fallen for a second time within a decade from 43.8% (2019-20) to 40.9% (2020-21).
 
The current participation rate is now the same rate as it was in 2015-16.