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 2021 Dry July team is raising funds to employ Australia's first dedicated Bowel Cancer Care Oncology Social Worker.

With expertise in intensive care, oncology and stomal therapy, Bowel Cancer Australia’s friendly Bowel Care Nurses and Nutritionists provide telenursing and telenutrition support nationwide to patients, family, friends, and concerned members of the community.

The addition of a Bowel Cancer Care Oncology Social Worker to the team will provide further cancer-focused support to the growing number of Australians affected by bowel cancer. 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.

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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.

Thanks to Dry July funding, Bowel Cancer Australia is able to extend their Bowel Cancer Stories, providing much needed support for individuals and families affected by bowel cancer

Bowel Cancer Australia is committed to supporting individuals and their families through all stages of their journey, working hard to ensure every bowel cancer patient receives the support they need.

Talking to and reading about the experiences of another person who has been through bowel cancer, or who is going through a similar situation, can be enormously valuable and reassuring.

A key element of Bowel Cancer Australia’s Peer-to-Peer Support Network and dynamic awareness campaigns is the writing and sharing of one’s personal story.

Not only are there proven benefits to emotional wellbeing in taking the time to write about your experiences, reading about the experience of others can also be incredibly beneficial. Assisting patients with making difficult decisions during their treatment, offering hope and solace.

We call these ‘Lived Experience Stories’.

Thanks to a grant from the Dry July Foundation in 2019-20, Bowel Cancer Australia has been able to expand upon our Bowel Cancer Stories and create a series of seven Lived-Experience booklets.

The booklets have been designed specifically for people who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer, their family and friends. Offering insight into how bowel cancer can affect your body, emotions, relationships and daily life, through the personal experiences of others diagnosed with the disease and their loved ones.

A very warm thank you to the Dry July Foundation and all the passionate Bowel Cancer Awareness Advocates who have shared their empowering lived experiences for these unique booklets - helping to raise much needed awareness, support people living with or beyond bowel cancer and their loved ones, and to encourage others to share their personal stories too.

See the Lived Experiences booklets here: