Despite all odds Australia is winning the fight against bowel cancer 17



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It’s not every day we get to bring you a happy story about cancer, but today we have some encouraging news to share.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, in France, today will announce that incidences of bowel cancer have risen ten-fold, however, Australia and New Zealand are bucking the trend.

Rising rates of bowel cancer are linked to economic development – it is believed the adoption of a Western-style lifestyle may be to blame.

Bowel cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the world. In 2012 there were an estimated 1.4 million new cases and almost 700,000 associated deaths worldwide.

By 2030, the numbers of new cases are expected to surge to 2.2 million with an associated death toll of 1.1 million.

A meta-analysis of numerous studies, published in the journal Gut, shows that economic development and rising bowel cancer rates are linked, with nations like the Philippines, China, Columbia, Bulgaria and Brazil all showing increased occurrences.

“The fact that [bowel cancer] has replaced infection related cancers as the second most common cancer in several middle income countries (particularly among women) highlights the major challenge of [bowel cancer] control in countries undergoing significant socioeconomic transition,” the researchers write.

Australia and New Zealand fall into the group of nations that have falling incidence and death rates, along with the USA, Austria, Czech Republic, Iceland, France, Japan, and Israel.

However, the researchers warn that in these countries rates remain among some of the highest in the world.

It is believed that screening, awareness and a generally improved understanding of bowel cancer and its risk factors have all contributed to the downward trend of deaths attributed to bowel cancer in Australia and New Zealand.

Is this good news to you? Has your life been touched by bowel cancer? Have you made any changes to reduce your risk?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My father died from bowel cancer 27 years ago, maybe some of the current tests could have saved him maybe not. I have had my first colonoscopy and I do the test kits from time to time. None of its hard and we are protecting/helping ourselves. Our chances are a lot better these days.

  2. Good news. My maternal grandmother, my mother and my sister all died from bowel cancer. Being checked regularly, I have no doubt, has probably saved my life.

  3. fibre, fibre, and then some fibre, we now eat only 20% of the fibre we consumed 100 years ago……Fibre doesn’t only help your gut and give it a bit of a clean, but when enough is consumed it changes the bacterial flora of the intestines and current research is showing that this could lead to very high turn around in asthma, arthritis, MS, gastric diseases and a lot of other immune diseases. I am talking about proper scientific research and here in Australia.

  4. My beautiful Partner died of Bowel Cancer. It will be 4 years this Valentines day! It broke my heart to see him suffer the last 18months of his life…its a horrible disease that causes so much pain towards the end!

  5. The graphed exponential rise in cancers exactly matches the growing consumption of sugar, refined carbs and seed oils. Cancers are fueled almost exclusively by blood glucose that is elevated by sugars and carbs. The seed oils are a potent source of inflammation, another exacerbating factor. Cancer treatments using dietary carb restriction is already showing great promise.

  6. My cousin went in today to have her last bout of chemo for bowel cancer. Hopefully she will now bw cancer free.

  7. Australia still needs to promote that colonoscopies should be done at age 50. Prevention is better than cure!

  8. doctors just ignore you when you ask for colonoscopies.

    2 REPLY
    • Are you serious Bernice? Never heard of this before. You need to be more assertive and demand to have a referral for a colonoscopy. You’re seeing the wrong Dr if you are being ignored.

    • Elizabeth – totally agree. In fact I make the appt for colonoscopy every 2 years and go to the GP and get the referral. I just tell him who to write it to. He certainly doesn’t ignore me.

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