Support for young-onset patients and their loves ones

BCA0279 NTY 2019 Web Header Never Assume Alone

If you believe you may be experiencing possible bowel cancer symptoms, you should seek advice from your GP and ask about further investigations.  It is better to visit your GP early and be reassured and treated than to hope symptoms will disappear or get better. 

REMEMBER - However old you are, you should never be told that you are too young to have bowel cancer. If you have symptoms ask your GP to be referred for further investigations.

15,604 Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, 1,413 (or 9%) of whom are under the age of 50.

Mainstream support services and resources can often be aimed at older people. Leaving young-onset bowel cancer patients feeling that their needs are not being met.

Bowel Cancer Australia is different.

We provide essential support services uniquely designed for younger bowel cancer patients and their families via our confidential Helpline with telephone and email support, as well as a national Peer-to-Peer Support Network and Buddy Program.

Our services are underpinned by an unrivalled range of information booklets and factsheets for patients and healthcare professionals, and world-first Bowel Cancer App.

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Bowel Care Nurses 

Bowel Cancer Australia's friendly team of Bowel Care Nurses are at hand to answer bowel cancer questions large and small.

Whether you have symptoms and you don't know what to do; or if you have been diagnosed or have questions about treatment options. Whatever the reason, please don't hesitate to contact one of our friendly, trained Bowel Care Nurses.

Bowel Cancer Australia’s Bowel Care Nurses understand that the needs of younger bowel cancer patients can be different, adding an extra layer of support to the trusted relationship patients have with their treating medical team at a very difficult time.

Registered nurses provide information and support to anyone with a question or experience related to bowel cancer.

You can email Bowel Cancer Australia's Bowel Care Nurses any time for advice.

Alternatively, please call Bowel Cancer Australia's helpline on 1800 555 494 (10am-4pm weekdays).

Bowel Care Nutritionist

A diagnosis of bowel cancer involves some major changes to diet and lifestyle.

Bowel Cancer Australia’s Bowel Care Nutritionist, who is also a young-onset bowel cancer survivor, helps with practical advice on food choices during treatment and in recovery. Offering specific nutritional advice, recipes, menu planning and cooking tips are provided to patients, carers, families and friends.

New high and low fibre recipes are also released online every month.

Peer-to-Peer Support Network

Bowel Cancer Australia’s Peer-to-Peer Support Network is a voluntary community of people affected by bowel cancer, whether personally or via a family member.

It is Australia’s only national support group for patients diagnosed under the age of 50, and now living with or beyond bowel cancer, and their loved ones. Including young families and partners, women diagnosed during pregnancy, siblings and parents with children that have been diagnosed with young-onset bowel cancer.

Through the support network, we aim to put young people in touch with each other - matching them by age, gender, region and their stage of bowel cancer and treatment pathway.

Partners, relatives and friends of patients also benefit from this service as we are able to put them in touch with other people who have a loved one with young-onset bowel cancer.

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Patient resources

There is no shortage of information on bowel cancer but when it comes to credible information, that’s a different case.

Bowel Cancer Australia has developed a suite of publications covering all aspects of bowel cancer: prevention, early detection, diagnosis, surgery, treatment and care. Including resources uniquely designed for younger people. Bowel Cancer Australia publishes a wide range of patient information

Our resources are designed to increase understanding of bowel cancer, treatment (including managing side effects), and how to adjust to the 'new' normal for people living with and beyond bowel cancer.

Please do check out our newly updated #Never2Young booklet, including all the latest information on young-onset bowel cancer.

Bowel Cancer App

The Bowel Cancer App is a comprehensive companion for patients, loved ones and carers; a useful resource for health professionals; and an educational tool for the Australian community.

Key features include the popular ‘Need to Know’, ‘How to Test’ ‘Living With’ and ‘Need to Ask’ sections, as well as ‘Buddy Connect’ and ‘Motivate Me’ features.

Bowel Cancer Stories

Many young patients and loved ones choose to share their stories to help raise awareness that you’re never too young to have bowel cancer and to provide support to others.

Often people can find it helpful to read about the experiences of others who have been affected by bowel cancer.

Our ‘Never Too Young’ Peer-to-Peer Support Network members have kindly shared lots of their stories, which you can read on our website.

Bowel Cancer... You're Never Too Young

Launched in 2014, Bowel Cancer Australia’s Bowel Cancer... You're Never Too Young initiative was created to provide bowel cancer resources uniquely designed for younger people.  

Offering practical and emotional support for the growing number of young people affected by bowel cancer (and their loved ones), championing what matters most to people living with or beyond young-onset bowel cancer, while challenging perceptions through dynamic campaigning that raises awareness and motivates action in all young Australians.

A highlight of the initiative is Never Too Young Awareness Week  -  a dedicated week during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month that highlights the unique challenges faced by people who are living with or beyond young-onset bowel cancer.

For further details and to get involved head to