Healthy Food Guide (Australia)

IF YOUR MUM HAS HAD bowel cancer

YOUR RISK … is three to six times higher (if mum was diagnosed younger than 55 years)


About 75 per cent of people who develop bowel cancer have no known family history of the disease. However, family history plays a part in approximat­ely 25 per cent of bowel cancer cases.

Even if a disease runs in your family, there are ways to lower your risk

GENETICS Genetic mutations have been identified as the cause of inherited cancer risk in some bowel cancer-prone families. These mutations are estimated to account for only 5 to 6 per cent of all bowel cancer cases.

IF IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY In general, the more family members who have (or have had) the disease, and the younger they were when diagnosed, the greater risk you have of developing it.

If you have one parent or sibling diagnosed with bowel cancer under the age of 55 years, then your risk of developing bowel cancer increases between threefold and sixfold, according to Bowel Cancer Australia. If one parent or sibling was diagnosed over the age of 55, you have up to twice the average risk.

If bowel cancer runs in your family, you should talk to your doctor about booking regular screenings so you can pick up any early warning signs.

Reduc your ris b …

Swapping white bread and rice for whole grains Wholegrain bread, oats, bran, wholemeal pasta and brown rice contain cancer-fighting nutrients, resistance starch, and fibre or ‘roughage’, which promote healthy bacteria in the bowel. We should all aim to consume 30g of fibre a day. But even if you increase your fibre intake by just 10g each day, your bowel cancer risk drops by 10 per cent.

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Just a 10g daily rise in fibre intake fights bowel cancer
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