No time to waste if symptoms strike

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and this year Bowel Cancer NZ (BCNZ) is raising awareness of the fact that bowel cancer can strike at any age.

The Never Too Young campaign was organised by young bowel cancer survivor Chelsea Halliwell.

Chelsea says it’s important to take action quickly if you have symptoms, which include bleeding from the bottom, a change of bowel habit, lumps in the stomach, fatigue or tiredness, anaemia or unexplained weight loss.

“I’m so fortunate I didn’t delay going to my GP – within a week, I had a stage three bowel cancer diagnosis, and my surgeon told me another six months would have made a real difference to my chances of survival,” she says.