Verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Verification sent. Please check your inbox to verify your address.

Unable to send verification. Please try again later.

Get information from qualified health professionals on the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
  • Shared Experiences

    Share your experiences in the Bowel Cancer community

    Welcome to the Healthshare Bowel Cancer Community for patients, survivors, carers and health professionals who have experience with bowel cancer.

    This is your community and we want to get to know you so please reply to this message to introduce yourself. Tell us what you hope to get out of your community experience. We're looking forward to hearing from you. Happy healthsharing!
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Darryl @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Nicky - thanks for setting up the Bowel Cancer Community. Unfortutely this is a growing area and I am sure that many people will find the community of great comfort through their journey.



    Bower Cancer is a problem affecting both the young the and old and hopefully we can help Bowel Cancer Australia in spreading the message.

  • Rochelle @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Hi, I am Rochelle.



    My husbands family have a history of Bowel Cancer so I am interested in keeping of track of symptoms, ways to test for and general information about Bowel Cancer.



    Rochelle

  • 1

    Thanks

    Dr Simon Benstock

    Gastroenterologist

    Dr Simon Benstock completed his advanced training in Gastroenterology at Prince of Wales and St Vincent’s hospitals in Sydney. His major interests are colon cancer … View Profile

    Rochelle, familyhistory is important but only about 20% of colon (bowel) cancers are family related. So it is very important for everyone to be aware of early or warning signs, especially bleeding, a change in bowel habit, unusual pains etc.   Faecal occult blood tests are a good start, but a negative result does not exclude sinister or potentially sinister things, especially if there are warning signs.

  • Vika J

    HealthShare Member

    Hi, I’m Vic



    My mum was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer 2 months ago. This was totally unexpected and I guess we are all still coming to terms with it. She has had her operation straight away and is now undergoing chemo therapy. It looks promising so we are hoping for full recovery. Mum did get the free test kits the Government sends in the mail to 55 and 60 year olds, but ignored them at the time, I still don’t understand why.. She went to see her GP though as soon as she discovered some light bleeding 2 months ago. I now tell everyone I know with the symptoms of “simple piles” to get tested, those $35 for the test kit can save your life.

  • Therese Finni

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Vic,

    I'm Finni, welcome to Healthshare. My mum has been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer 4 months ago. Its a pretty big shock hey, particulary when they have little to no symptoms at first. Mum's tumour was the size of a small football, and yet she didn't notice a thing, until she got sick and had a bowel obstruction (hello tumour). She struggled with getting her body back to a normal routine early on after her operation. We found this network to be very useful in getting different ideas to help us through the start of this journey, nutrition was our biggest struggle. Please post questions, no question is a silly one   or even message me about our experiences to date. I'd be only too happy to help if a can. It definately helped me cope knowing that there are others out there going through similar things.

    How is your Mum coping with the Chemo so far?

    I hope you are coping OK as well? It's a hard and emotional rollercoaster for our Mum's, and its hard for us family members as well i think.

    I look forward to hearing more about your Mum and I hope you look after yourself as well.

    Take care.

    Finni.

  • Vika J

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you Finni and Nicky

    I’m glad to have joined this page, Im sure it will be a great support for people like mum and me. Mum is “not with the times” when it comes to internet and such so I’ll be her voice and her story here ) She has just started chemo 2 weeks ago and is doing OK considering - very tired of course plus all the other unpleasant little things associated with this treatment. I hope it isn’t going to get much worse.But she is educating herself about all possible side effects etc - it is better to be prepared. Im finding it quite hard, as I have two small kids and most of the time Im unable to come and see her and assist her much really, as she lives alone and dosn’t drive. The first month was horrid, but people adjust fast and so have we all. So far, I have received lots of support from my friends and my husband’s family, so mum and I were able to go to the most important appointments together. She is keeping quite positive, which is great. I hope her 6 months of chemo will fly by with minimum side effects and she recovers… Yes, Finni, nutrition was  and is a real big hurdle, you don’t realise how complicated a simple meal can be post-operation. But again, I have done lots of research on internet and passed on lost of info to mum, plus she got some brochures from the hospital, so she is ‘learning' he new diet now and doing well…

    One thing I forgot to mention here is the unbelievable amount of support and care that cancer patients receive here in Australian public hospital system - I was just blown away. And Im not even talking about the fact that it is covered by Medicare! I know how much all of those treatment and operations cost overseas and quite frankly, most people would not be able to afford them if they had to pay for them. The amount of time the doctors and nurses spent with mum, explaining the options, helping her - I was amazed. Just another reason to be grateful to live here.

    Thank ladies.

    Speak soon

    Vic

  • Therese Finni

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Vic,

    I know how you feel with supporting your Mum, I too have 2 small children and Mum lives 2000kms away!! So I have been flying up for appointments and using Skype every chance I get. Mum's husband has been a world of support for her, but I worry about him as well, as it must be tough.

    I'm glad your Mum is adjusting to her new diet well, as well as everything else!! mum struggled with regulating her bowels, and as a result became dangerously low in her potassium levels. She was very lethargic and would “puff” alot. Thankfully her GP gave her some Cholestrol tablets, that ‘blocked her up’ a bit, which allowed her body to regulate better. Now shes gone off the tablets and hasn't had too much of a problem since. She knows now when she starts to puff, that she needs to get her potassium back up, so she's taken out a small loan to buy banana's and she has a special drink she needs to take. Its all learning along the way hey!!

    Take care.

    Finni

  • Nicky @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Vic,



    Welcome to the community. I'm glad your mums prognosis is good. In addition to people gaining support in the community it's also about generating awareness through stories like yours. A test kit can save a life and the more people who know it and dont ignore it the better! It would be great to get your mum to join Healthshare and the bowel cancer community to share her story with others.



    Thanks for sharing.



    Regards,



    Nicky

  • Nicky @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Vic, I forgot to mention, be sure to ‘follow’ the community so you can be kept up to date with the conversations and information. Happy Healthsharing!

  • 1

    Thanks

    Peter Mount

    HealthShare Member

    Hi



    I have a family history of bowel cancer. I recently had my second colonoscopy and I'm interested in learning what I should do to minimise my risk of developing bowel cancer in the future.



    Peter

  • Nicky @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Peter,



    Welcome to the community. It's great that you are checking yourself regularly especially given you have a family history of Bowel Cancer. Be sure to look at the ‘Bowel Cancer screening’ and ‘Don’t hide your symptoms' fact sheets in the community to understand how the screening works and also what symptoms to look out for.



    While no cancer is completely preventable, you can lower your risk of bowel cancer by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.


    Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods –eat plenty of vegetables, legumes (dried beans, peas or lentils), fruits & cereals (breads, rice, pasta & noodles), preferably wholegrain.include lean meat, fish and poultry.include milks, yoghurts and cheeses.  Reduced fat varieties should be chosen where possible.drink plenty of water.
    Take care to - limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake.limit your intake of red meat and processed meat.choose foods low in salt.limit your alcohol intake if you choose to drink.consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars.
    And -
    quit smoking.

    We also have a some bowel cancer specialists in our panel with whom you can connect with and answer questions.



    Happy Healthsharing,



    Nicky

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Hi Peter,



    Thanks very much for your post and question.



    Our nurse advisor will be in touch shortly with a response.



    In the meantime, there is some information available on our website that you might like to have a look through, in particular the Risk Factors: Family History web page.



    Kind Regards,



    The team at Bowel Cancer Australia



    Please Note: Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory services are subject to the following disclaimer.

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Hi Peter,



    Thank you for your question.  People are considered to have a greater risk of developing bowel cancer if they - are aged 50 years or over.have a family history of bowel cancer.have a personal history of cancer of the colon, rectum, ovary, endometrium, or breast. have a history of polyps in the colon. have a history of ulcerative colitis (ulcers in the lining of the large intestine) or Crohn's disease. have certain hereditary conditions, such as familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC; Lynch Syndrome).

    There is now emerging evidence regarding type 2 (usually non-insulin dependent) diabetes as a potential risk factor for bowel cancer, however further research is required. 



    Considering you have a family history, you are certainly doing the right thing by being screened through colonoscopy; continue to do this in coming years. Your specialist will recommend the frequency for colonoscopy given your family history and circumstances.  As a general guide, normally every 2 to 5 years is considered to be a safe time between visits.



    Keeping a good diet, minimising excessive amounts of ‘bad’ fats in your diet is important & of course keeping a predominantly healthy diet with fresh fruits & vegetables on a daily basis is important in helping to keep your fibre levels up to the recommended 25 - 30 grams per day. Try to be physically active at least 30 minutes each day, whatever it is to get you out doors and moving is important for the health of your bowel let alone your entire body.



    For more information on the risk factors for bowel cancer, please go to the Bowel Cancer Australia website to see more on the risk pathway.    



    Keep healthy Peter & thank you again for your question.



    Regards



    Tammy

    Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Advisor



    Please Note: Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory services are subject to the following disclaimer.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Trevor Brawn

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Nicky and others,

    I was diagnosed with T1 N0 colon cancer in September 2010, had surgery in October 2010 to remove the tumour, in the sigmoid colon, but unfortunately had complications due to a leak resulting in peritonitis, requiring emergency surgery to rectify and cleanse the internal organs. I ended up with a colostomy for 9 months, after which i underwent my 3rd surgery to rejoin the colon, repair a hernia and consequently acquired a temporary ileostomy.

    I am very happy to say that tomorrow I will be undergoing my 4th and final surgery to reverse the loop ileostomy and should be back to normal within a few weeks.
    It has been an extremely difficult year for my family and myself due to the complications, being in ICU for 7 days due to respiratory, heart, kidney, lung, blood transfusion and other problems, but I am most fortunate in that my cancer has been removed, had not spread therefore did not require chemo/radiation and I will back to “normal” soon.
    I am thankful for the support and encouragement I have received from people and hope that others find information, support and encouragement on this “much needed” site.
    I urge people to be screened regularly, as I was, in order to detect cancer before it spreads, specifically those that have family history and/or over 50 however cancer affects all ages. I did not have any symptoms but was fortunate to have it detected in my annual colonoscopy.

    My best wishes to everyone who is fighting this awful disease which seems to be on the increase, unfortunately.

  • Nicky @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Trevor,



    Great to have you on board and thanks for Healthsharing. Thank you for sharing your story with us, a lot of people would benefit from hearing your story in the Bowel Cancer community . Please post your message in this community and continue to share your journey with us- after all if it can benefit others it can only do good. There are many others in the same situation as you. Please let me know if I can help you in any way in navigating around Healthshare and getting started. There are over 350 health communities.



    Kind regards

    Nicky

  • andrew cowper

    HealthShare Member

    Hey Everybody,

                I'm Andrew, 23years old, and i was diagnoised with colorectal cancer in 2010. In June last year I had the tumour removed and then in november i had a reversal of an ileostomy. In june this year I changed doctors and hospital due to being unsatisfied with their treatment of a few post surgery issues, my current doctor is currently working with me to sort of these issues.



      My main aim now is to provide support for other young people going through the process.

  • Nicky @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Andrew,



    Thank you for introducing yourself and welcome to Healthshare and the bowel cancer community. You are not alone in this community as there are other young bowel cancer patients. Please share with the community your progress. We hope that things are going well with your new doctor. Regards, Nicky

  • Darryl @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Andrew - Thanks for sharing what you are going through. We have a number of younger community members who are keen discuss the issues and the process. Stay in touch Darryl

  • Jill Nicholas

    HealthShare Member

    Hi, My name is Jill, I am 56 years old and I am celebrating 5 years since I was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer.

    In lead up to my diagnosis I had been feeling unwell especially in my tummy region and often had to go to the toilet with great emergency, only to get there and not be able to fully empty my bowel and leave with the feeling of fullness and tightness.  Passing wind was not easy and progessivly it all got worse and to the point of not being able to lead my life in the way I had been.

      After many months of feeling very unwell I passed a huge amount of blood and large clots and then went to the major hospital outpatients.  Finally after many hours I was told I possibly had Cancer and was admitted for observation.  I was discharged after 24hrs so I could have Christmas Day with my family and told to wait for a phone call as to when I would have to come back in for a Stoma.

    Early January 2007, saw me admitted for an ileostomy, which I had for 12 months.  I went through Chemo, 5FU, administered by CAD Pump as well as having Radiotherapy, for 7 weeks.  I took the chemo well, no loss of hair and no sickness! ,  but I was very tired.

    In June 2007 I underwent surgery to remove the tumour and had a resection.  More Chemo followed and by November 2007 I had finished chemo and awaited my ileostomy reversal, which I had in January 2008. Most of these treatments didnt go without incidence, there were many tense moments and many unpleasant things to endure, but I put myself in the Oncologists hands and my mind in positive mode and dealt with each day as it presented itself.  My partner was and still is amazing, I couldn`t have got through it all without him.

    I still tire easily and my feet and legs have been affected by chemo, radiation has left me with some problems which I was not told could happen, but other than that I have everything to look forward to.  I work part time, have a great life and look forward to being healthy.

    One of the things I have learned is, listen to your body, no one knows it like you!

    If I can be of help to anyone going through Bowel Cancer please dont hesitate to post.

    Cheers

    Jill

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Hi Jill,

    Thanks for your posting and for sharing your experiences with the Bowel Cancer Community.

    Wonderful to hear things are going so well with you at the moment.

    We look forward to hearing more about your bowel cancer journey and to keeping in touch.

    Best Wishes,

    The team at Bowel Cancer Australia

    www.bowelcanceraustralia.org



    Please Note: Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory services are subject to the following disclaimer.

  • Christine Macfadyen

    HealthShare Member

    Hello Nicky and those who are part of the Healthshare family.  I joined as I have a Father (81) diagnosed with bowel cancer about 7 weeks ago after having a cholonoscopy which could not be completed due to a blockage.  He had the mass removed within a week and is now going through chemotherapy every 3 weeks.  The cancer has spread to  his liver, lungs and kidney.  We are hoping he can beat this for at least a year or two.  3 weeks ago my brother (56) was diagnosed with bowel cancer which has spread to his liver.  70% of his liver has been affected.  He had his first trial of chemotherapy last Tuesday but has been so ill (vomiting, diarrhoea, temperature and pain) and is back in hospital at Robina.  He now has ‘hiccups’ which will not stop and he is losing his breath and finding it hard to breath.  My Mum is so anxious.  The staff at the hospital are telling him he is well enough to go home, however his is still vomiting & has the diarrhoea.  They gave him antibiotics for the temperature as said he had a stomach infection.  I dont know what to suggest.  I dont think my Mum can manage and with Dad undertaking treatment at the same time, I think it will just be too much.  They are on the Gold Coast and I am in Sydney so trying to help is difficult.  They have had a lot of assistance from Spiritus but they are currently on skeleton staff (like the hospital) so we dont know what to do.  Does anyone have some advice please?  Should he be going home?  He is very weak and not eating.  Any information would be appreciated.  Thank you.

  • Darryl @team healthshare

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Christine



    I am very sorry to read about the challenging time that you and your family are faced with. I am certain that our good friends at Bowel Cancer Australia will be in touch to offer you some suggestions to support you during this time.



    The Healthshare family wishes you well. We're thinking of you.



    Regards



    Darryl Jackson

    CEO and co-founder

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks for your post and for the questions about you Father and Brother's bowel cancer diagnosis, what a difficult time this must be for your family.

    If you would like to send me your phone number I would be very happy to give you a call, and talk through any questions you may have.

    I look forward to talking with you soon.

    Kind regards

    Tammy

    Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Advisor



    Please Note: Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory services are subject to the following disclaimer.

  • Dr Simon Benstock

    Gastroenterologist

    Dr Simon Benstock completed his advanced training in Gastroenterology at Prince of Wales and St Vincent’s hospitals in Sydney. His major interests are colon cancer … View Profile

    I am a gastroenterologist and have been finding (and preventing) bowel (colon) cancers for years.
    This disease is devastating if found late but so avoidable.
    There are signs that can alert you, but it is a simple as seeing your GP or someone like myself to have your mind put at rest.
    Certainly, any bleeding must be followed up by a doctor, even if you are SURE it is haemorrhoids.
    Persistent abdominal pain, a change in bowel habit, or a family history of bowel cancer should not be ignored.
    Dr Simon Benstock

  • Jodievandendries

    HealthShare Member

    Hi I,m Jodie I,m about to turn 30 this year .in September 2011 I had my first colonoscopy after seeing several doctors and them all thinking I had haemoroids from having children I was prescribed metamucil lol.My first colonoscopy revealed a cancerous polyp and one non cancerous polyp.From that moment on everything happened very quickly and within a week I was having part of my sigmoid colon removed through key hole surgery .After the surgery I was given a 97% chance of survival which was fantastic and was told if I had chemo it would only better them by around 1%.Since this prognosis I have had every scan none to man done and lots of wonderful lumps and bumps have shown up along the way .On November 30 'th of 2012 I had another colonoscopy this being my 3rd one now they told me there was two more polyps but they were non cancerous .Since this colonoscopy I have still had bleeding ranging from dark to light shades of red so my surgeon investigated and decided we should do another colonoscopy and whilst we are there lackey band up any haemoroids that are internal.This was done today so for me now it is a waiting game again to see wether there is any more bleeding once the haemoroids come of .has anyone else had anything similar to this ? Or know what else coiled cause this bleeding ?

  • missmuffettwo1

    HealthShare Member

    After consulting with colorectal surgeon on 1st October I had left hemicolectomy by laproscopy on 11th October. Surgeon needed a larger view so also made a small Caesarian type cut on my bikini line. Removed 15 cm of descending colon including some diverticulosis, and unfortunately 2 lymph nodes were found to be involved out of 14 sampled. So from early stage one to stage 3 !  Quite a shock to everyone especially surgeon who thought eveything looked pretty good at the time. Now have a Bard Power Port (just call me Wonderwoman please !) and start chemo on Monday. One day in the clinic for 4 hours then home for 2 days with pump, repeated in a fortnight for 12 treatments. Should see me through to Easter 2014 !   Everyone comments on how well I'm dealing with it all, more worried about the husband and family. My regular psychologist says I'm a bit manic at the moment, what's new, so trying to take time to relax a bit. Not easy with so many checkups and other specialists to consut before starting chemo. Celebrating turning 60 in January with a giant vintage high tea which I'm starting to organise with family help, and have a cleaning lady coming today to quote on regular fortnightly house cleaning. Don't know how we'd manage if we didn't have substantial income and savings, would be devastating to have to wait for treatment in the public system ?

  • tracy1

    HealthShare Member

    Good morning,
    my beautiful daughter aged 22 was fighting bowel cancer for 8 months and I am sad to say she passed away on Australia Day 2014.  So yes I think young Australians should be aware that it can happen in young people as well.

comment

You must be a Health Professional to comment. Log in or Sign up .