National Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that June is Australia’s Bowel Cancer Awareness month? Wednesday 19th June is known as Red Apple Day, in reference to Bowel Cancer Australia’s red apple logo. Australians are encouraged to use this day to support Bowel Cancer Australia’s important work by purchasing and displaying Bowel Cancer Awareness ribbons, and by partaking in apple-themed fundraising activities.

The Bowel Cancer Awareness Month website has great suggestions and guidelines for fundraising activities. Click here for more information.

Who Is Affected?

1 in 13 Australians will have a bowel cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, making it Australia’s second deadliest cancer.

While there are incidences of bowel cancer occurring in younger Australians, the highest risk category is men and women aged over 50. Hereditary factors, such as your parents or grandparents being effected by bowel cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, can also increase your risk.

It has been suggested that smoking, high alcohol intake and high red meat consumption are also factors that can increase your risk of bowel cancer.

What Can You Do?

Bowel Cancer Australia predicts that 15,604 diagnoses of the disease will be made in Australia this year, but the good news is that bowel cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer if detected early.

All Australians ages 50-74 are advised to partake in a non-invasive, at-home screening process, known as a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). If you are eligible for the FOBT, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program can send you a free test kit to collect the sample in your home, and sent to a pathologist for analysis.

If you are at greater risk for bowel cancer, it is recommended that you discuss the best screening option for yourself with your doctor.

Maintaining a healthy diet, quitting smoking and lowering alcohol intake are all steps you can take to help keep your health at its peak. When you are above the age of 40, it is recommended to get annual medical checks, as a tool to stay on top of your health. If you require assistance with these lifestyle changes, your regular GP is a great point of contact to start the change. Book now to make an appointment.

Chronic Disease Management

At Atticus Health Carrum, we are one of the lucky few clinics to have a permanent on-site Chronic Disease Nurse. Most clinics either do not provide this service or their nurse is not permanent. At Atticus Health, it is important to us to be able to provide our patients with vital health care services, to ensure we are a comprehensive health care facility.

Chronic diseases do not discriminate.  They can affect anyone, therefore it is essential to prevent chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, with a prevention strategy, through education and understanding. Unfortunately chronic disease is one of the things many people think “Oh but, it will never happen to me”. Therefore we tend not to take important measures to prevent ourselves from developing a chronic disease. chronic diseases do not discriminate, it can happen to absolutely anyone, therefore it is essential that we educate ourselves to understand what we can do ourselves to prevent the possibility of us and our loved ones developing these diseases.

More than 1 in 3 of potentially preventable hospitalisations in 2013-14 were due to chronic disease.

What is Chronic Disease?

A chronic medical condition is one that has been (or is likely to be) present for six months or longer, for example, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke.

Chronic diseases are long lasting conditions with persistent effects. Their social and economic consequences can impact on people’s quality of life. Chronic diseases are becoming increasingly common and are a priority for action in the health sector. AIHW commonly reports on 8 major groups: arthritisasthmaback paincancercardiovascular diseasechronic obstructive pulmonary diseasediabetes and mental health conditions.

What our Chronic Disease Nurse does:

Our warm, welcoming and highly experienced nurse, Beatrice, works on management and care plans going forward once a chronic disease has been diagnosed. As well as assisting in educating patients to prevent chronic disease before it develops, and anticipating those who may be more susceptible to developing a chronic disease, she can also initiate a management care plan. Beatrice works with 40-49 year olds, as well as those over 75.

Ensure you give yourself, and your loved ones, the best chance to prevent and manage chronic disease, by coming to see Beatrice in our Carrum GP clinics.

 

Find some helpful links below for further information

Diabetes, heart disease and stroke organisations

Healthy eating information

Walking

Other useful sites