Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is encouraging people this June to raise both money and awareness of bowel cancer.
The campaign is run by Bowel Cancer Australia (BCA) and is encouraging people of all ages to get tested.
BCA chief executive Julien Wiggins says that the month serves a greater purpose than raising funds.
“The purpose of the month is to first and foremost raise awareness of Australia’s second deadliest cancer… but the overarching theme of the month really is to save lives,” Mr Wiggins says.
The campaign has been run by the non-for-profit since its inception 19 years ago and the results are beginning to show.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released findings this week that show people are getting themselves tested most frequently in the months following BCA’s campaign.
Despite the increase in testing BCA is pushing to lower the ideal target age for receiving the screening message from 50 to 45.
Mr Wiggins says BCA’s focus is on people under 50 due to the statistics amongst young Australians being “alarming”.
“(For) people in their 20s, from 25 to 29, now bowel cancer is the most deadly disease… and between 24 and 30 bowel cancer and brain cancer are the two deadliest cancers.”
Emma English discovered she had bowel cancer at the age of 26 after her 28-year-old friend was diagnosed.
“If it wasn’t for her speaking out about bowel cancer there is a high chance I wouldn’t be here today,” Miss English says.
“A lot of other people constantly told me I was too young, but the scary fact is it is not just an old person’s cancer.”
You can contribute to the cause by donating or purchasing a ribbon from Bowel Cancer Australia‘s website.