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Bowel Cancer Australia

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Around 300 Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer every week and it remains Australia’s second deadliest cancer. Bowel Cancer Australia is a 100% community-funded national charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, quality treatment and the best care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We are committed to championing what matters most to people affected by bowel cancer and determined to have an everlasting impact where no Australian dies from bowel cancer and all those diagnosed receive the support they need. Bowel Cancer Australia was named Best Small Charity of the Year 2019 at the national Third Sector Awards in recognition of its contribution to the third sector in a meaningful and impactful way that produces measurable benefits.

We are raising funds for: Bowel Cancer Australia’s 2022 Dry July team is raising funds to expand the charity’s integrated Bowel Care Nurse pilot program, enabling more patients to receive dedicated support from a local Bowel Care Nurse.

A Bowel Care Nurse is a registered nurse who has specialist knowledge and experience caring for patients with bowel cancer. Serving as a patient’s main point of contact during and beyond cancer treatment, supporting and communicating with the patient and their loved ones.

These dedicated Bowel Care Nurses help to improve bowel cancer outcomes in their communities by enabling patients to take a more active role in their bowel care treatment.

Making sure patients and their families understand their options and receive the critical support they need – from that initial point of diagnosis all the way through their treatment pathway.

Despite being the third most diagnosed cancer, bowel cancer patients don’t receive the same level of support as other common cancers.

Every bowel cancer patient deserves to have access to a dedicated Bowel Care Nurse.

Latest Updates


Bowel Cancer Australia can further expand their Bowel Care Nurse and Nutritionist Programs

Despite being the third most diagnosed cancer, bowel cancer patients don’t receive the same level of support as other common cancers.

Described as a 'lifeline' by patients and their loved ones, Bowel Cancer Australia’s telenursing and telenutrition services are addressing this gap, enabling equity of access to personalised care and tailored support nationwide.

Since 2010, Bowel Cancer Australia’s Bowel Care Nurses and Nutritionists have been offering support for patients and loved ones through the charity’s Helpline and Peer-to-Peer Support Network.

Thanks to the continued support of the Dry July Foundation, Bowel Cancer Australia has been able to further expand our Bowel Care Nurse and Nutritionist Programs. Increasing the capacity of our Patient Services team, to meet the growing demand for these vital services.

Serving as a constant, dedicated point of contact for the many bowel cancer patients who utilise the charity’s telenursing service nationwide, Bowel Cancer Australia’s Bowel Care Nurses offer support during and after treatment. As well as assisting patients, family, friends, and concerned members of the community by answering questions about bowel symptoms, treatment options, or how to support a loved one affected by the disease.

“Bowel cancer patients are often faced with unique challenges and their journey can vary greatly from other cancers. Leading many to believe they have ‘the wrong cancer’,” says Bowel Care Nurse Tammy.

People affected by bowel cancer face multiple nutritional challenges, including being unsure about what to eat, diarrhoea, appetite loss, and changes to taste and smell.

Yet they receive little or no nutritional information following diagnosis and treatment.

Bowel Cancer Australia’s uniquely qualified Bowel Care Nutritionists, help to address that need by providing guidance that’s practical, sustainable and evidence based.

“A diagnosis of bowel cancer will involve a change to diet and lifestyle and your new bowel habit might be hard to come to terms with,” says Bowel Care Nutritionist Janet.

"Families, friends and carers also require support and practical advice to assist in meal preparation when caring for a bowel cancer patient," Janet adds.

So as to provide further cancer-focused support to the growing number of Australians affected by bowel cancer, Bowel Cancer Australia is currently recruiting for Australia’s first dedicated Bowel Care Oncology Social Worker.

This unique new role will help to reduce anxiety and distress, and increase feelings of hope and empowerment, by assisting bowel cancer patients in learning new ways of coping, providing practical information about available resources in their community, and improving communication with their medical team and loved ones.

Bowel Cancer Australia’s integrated Bowel Care Nursing program continues to expand, supporting the employment of dedicated part-time Bowel Care Nurses in regional communities across the country. Acting as a key point of contact for bowel cancer patients and their families as they navigate the health system in their local area – providing advice, education, support and direct patient care.

“Bowel cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer, but when detected early 99 per cent of cases can be successfully treated. We need to be at the forefront of that treatment, helping ensure clients get the best possible care,” says Sunshine Coast Bowel Care Nurse Kirsty.

Thanks to the Dry July Foundation’s support Bowel Cancer Australia can put more bowel cancer patients and loved ones in touch with a Bowel Care Nurse or Nutritionist, where they can receive specialist support from Tammy, Janet, Kirsty or one of the team.

No one need go through bowel cancer alone.

Francesca's Story

I was diagnosed with Stage III bowel cancer at the age of 38.

I honestly didn’t know anything about bowel cancer before I was diagnosed. I’ve since been told it’s ‘an old man’s disease’ which I now know not to be the case with about 1400 people under 50 diagnosed with bowel cancer in Australia every year. The individual circumstances of each person’s diagnosis also mean everyone has a very different experience of how they are treated.

When I contacted Bowel Cancer Australia’s free Helpline, I had an instant connection with the Bowel Care Nurses and Nutritionists.

They’ve been a constant source of strength and encouragement ever since – helping me manage nutritional challenges, nerve damage, and an emotional roller coaster.

Cancer turned my world upside down. Diagnosis, treatment, and recovery have been a lot to process against the backdrop of a global pandemic.

Without Bowel Cancer Australia, my whole situation would have been a lot harder and lonelier.

Their support and resources made my experience so much more manageable and less frightening.

Head here to read more of Francesca's Story. 

Dry July fundraising helps Bowel Cancer Australia employ Australia's first dedicated Bowel Cancer Care Oncology Social Worker

Your fundraising for Dry July will enable Bowel Cancer Australia to expand the charity’s Bowel Care Nurse and Bowel Care Nutritionist programs, and to employ Australia's first dedicated Bowel Cancer Care Oncology Social Worker.

During the height of the pandemic last year, Bowel Cancer Australia received a 68% spike in enquiries to our free Helpline. Described as lifeline, these vital Bowel Care Nurse and Nutritionist services are needed now more now than ever.

The addition of a Bowel Cancer Care Oncology Social Worker to the team will provide further cancer-focused support. Helping to reduce anxiety and distress, and increase feelings of hope and empowerment, by assisting patients in learning new ways of coping, providing practical information about available resources in their community, and improving communication with their medical team and loved ones.

Our Bowel Care Advisory Team is only a phone call away, on 1800 555 494 or email. The Helpline is free and provides an extra layer of support to bowel cancer patients and their loved ones. Free comprehensive online bowel cancer support resources can also be found on our Support for You webpage.

Diana's Story

“My sister Sarah was 34 and a new mum when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer, and 35 when it took her life. She experienced three weeks of stomach pains before she was given a terminal diagnosis and 18 months to live. She started treatment immediately and lost her battle 10.5 months later.

Sadly, her story is not unique. The rates of bowel cancer in adults under 50 have been rising, and young-onset patients are more likely to be diagnosed in Stage 3 or 4 when the disease is harder to treat.

My family has always been very close and losing Sarah to bowel cancer was absolutely devastating for us. It had a huge impact on my life. At 29 I gave up a job, ended a relationship, and moved states to help care for Sarah and her daughter, Eliza, who was only five months old when she was diagnosed. It was incredibly painful to watch her endure treatment after treatment until there were no options left.

No individual or family should have to endure what we did, and it is Bowel Cancer Australia's mission to have an everlasting impact where no Australian dies from bowel cancer and all those diagnosed receive the support they need. Everyone thinks that it will not happen to them until it does.

Whilst I think it is hugely important to talk about life beyond cancer, it is also important to talk to those who face a terminal diagnosis at a young age, their carers and loved ones.

Please support Bowel Cancer Australia this Dry July and donate what you can to raise vital funds for people affected by bowel cancer, who need us now, more than ever.” ~ Diana.

Thanks to the Dry July Foundation’s support, BCA can put more people affected by bowel cancer in touch with a Bowel Care Nurse

“The Bowel Cancer Australia team have been an integral part of my journey and have had such a positive impact on my treatment pathway.” ~ Makala (diagnosed at 32).

Bowel Cancer Australia is committed to supporting individuals and their families through all stages of their journey. Working hard to ensure ongoing awareness and support following a bowel cancer diagnosis.

Despite being the third most diagnosed cancer, bowel cancer patients don’t receive the same level of support as other common cancers.

Described as a 'lifeline' by patients and their loved ones, Bowel Cancer Australia’s telenursing service is addressing this gap, enabling equity of access to personalised care and tailored support nationwide.

Since 2010, Bowel Cancer Australia’s Bowel Care Nurses and Nutritionists have been offering telenursing and telenutrition support for patients and loved ones through the charity’s Helpline and Peer-to-Peer Support Network.

Providing an extra layer of support to the trusted relationship patients have with their treating medical team at a very difficult time and helping to fill an important gap in the health system for bowel cancer patients.

"They're there to listen to you, support you and find you the help that you need. It's reassuring to know you're not alone." ~ Angel (diagnosed at 36).

From 2021, the service will be underpinned by Bowel Cancer Australia’s patient-reported outcomes (PROMs) online tool – My Bowel Cancer, My Voice, to help patients become active participants in decision-making about their bowel cancer treatment and care as well as help their healthcare team detect problems early, address side effects quickly and develop a care plan that supports your specific needs, so you can enjoy the best health possible.

Thanks to a grant from the Dry July Foundation, Bowel Cancer Australia has been able to expand our Bowel Care Nurse Program through the addition of another part-time Bowel Care Nurse to join our nationwide telenursing service to assist in the rollout and implementation of our patient-reported outcomes online tool.

They have been the silver lining to the cloud that is cancer, always happy to help in whatever way they can - sometimes even in ways I yet haven't realised I needed!” ~ Danielle (diagnosed at 34).

A registered nurse with specialist knowledge and experience caring for patients with bowel cancer, and having recently returned from a period nursing in a regional hospital, Bowel Cancer Australia is pleased Tammy was able to re-join our Bowel Care Nursing team.

Tammy will serve as a constant, dedicated point of contact for the many bowel cancer patients who utilise the charity’s telenursing service, offering support during and after treatment. As well as assisting patients, family, friends, and concerned members of the community by answering questions about bowel symptoms, treatment options, or how to support a loved one affected by the disease.

Bowel cancer patients are often faced with unique challenges and their journey can vary greatly from other cancers. Leading many to believe they have ‘the wrong cancer’,” says Tammy.

The grant will have a direct impact, ensuing Bowel Cancer Australia can expand our capacity to provide practical and emotional support for the growing number of Australians affected by bowel cancer.

“Thanks to the Dry July Foundation’s support we can put more bowel cancer patients and loved one in touch with a Bowel Care Nurse, where they can receive specialist support from me or one of the team”.

“No one need go through bowel cancer alone,” Tammy adds.


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