EDUCATION

You’re never too young to get bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer isn’t just an ‘old person’s’ disease – around 30 Kiwis aged 50 or younger are diagnosed with bowel cancer every month. No matter what your age, if things don’t feel right, don’t sit on your symptoms – see a doctor.

Anyone can get bowel cancer, at any age.

Every year, over 3,000 Kiwis are diagnosed with this silent killer, including around 350 people under the age of 50. If you’re worried, you’re never too young to get checked.

Bowel cancer is on the rise in New Zealand

Bowel cancer kills more Kiwis than our roads: around 1,200 of us every year. But 90% of cases are curable if found early enough.

Bowel cancer is increasing in younger people

And it’s not always picked up. Many younger Kiwis have symptoms for months or years before being diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer doesn’t discriminate

Bowel cancer can affect anyone, at any age. Men are slightly more at risk, but women of all ages can get it too.

1 in 9 Kiwis diagnosed are under 50

Every year, around 350 Kiwis under 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer – which is way too many of us, way too young.

The bottom line is… you need to know the symptoms.

“I was fit, healthy and bullet-proof. And then I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.” – Chelsea, diagnosed at 39

You’re never too young to get your symptoms checked.

No one ever died of embarrassment, but you can die of bowel cancer.
If you have any concerns about your bowel habits, talk to your GP or healthcare professional straight away.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of bowel cancer can come and go – so if something isn’t right, see your doctor.

Just diagnosed?

A bowel cancer diagnosis can be a real shock, especially if you’re young. Find out what to expect next.

Is it genetic?

Most people with bowel cancer have no family history, but in around 30% of cases, it’s hereditary. Read more

How can I reduce my risk?

While no cancer is completely preventable, you can lower your risk through some simple lifestyle changes.

Accept no ‘buts’: if you have symptoms that are worrying you, don’t accept ‘but you’re too young to have bowel cancer’. Get a second opinion.

You’re not alone – we’re here to help.

Online support
Our website has plenty of resources, including treatment options, risk factors, tips for prevention and a comprehensive service directory.

Closed Facebook group
Our private Facebook group is a supportive forum where you can talk with others going through similar experiences.

Nurse support service
Our registered nurse can answer any questions about your diagnosis, and help you navigate your treatment path.

Help support someone
Check out our resource toolkit to help you support someone with bowel cancer, or to raise awareness and spread the word.

Healthy eating guide
A handy guide with practical advice on nutrition, food choices and meal planning to help improve your recovery and health.

Personal stories
Read the stories of other young people with bowel cancer, how they coped with their diagnosis, and what helped them through their journey.

Diagnosed at just 39, Chelsea was inspired to create our “Never too Young’ campaign with her good friend, Tania Biddles at Q Brand Agency – and the many other generous Kiwis and companies who helped make it possible.
DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

IN SPECIAL MEMORY OF BRITT, ANARU, FIONA AND SOLON …four brave, young people who appeared in our ‘Never too Young’ campaign, and have sadly passed away since then. They wanted us to continue to raise awareness, so that other young Kiwis have a chance to beat bowel cancer.

Personal stories: too many, too young.

Read the stories of some of the many Kiwis whose lives have been affected by bowel cancer. No matter what their age, we believe they were all too young.
#nevertooyoung #getchecked #beatbowelcancer

If you are wondering whether to get that 'little symptom' checked or not - go to your GP!
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When someone says life is too short, treat every day like it’s your last. Maybe we should.
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To put it into perspective, a month after visiting my G.P. with abdominal pain, I was being discharged from hospital post-surgery.
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Life was trucking along beautifully in August 2015. I’d established my own business.
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READ ALL PERSONAL STORIES