Bowel Cancer can strike at any age.

Don’t sit on your symptoms.
We need another $40,000 to reach our target.
Donate today.

We have a growing incidence of bowel cancer in New Zealand, and it’s hitting younger adults. Every year, it kills nearly as many of us as the road toll.

But you’re not alone, we’re here to help you learn more and find out if you need to take any action.

We want to encourage young people to talk to their GP if they have experienced any symptoms including:

  • Bleeding from the bottom (rectal bleeding)
  • Change of bowel motions over several weeks that can come and go
  • Persistent or periodic severe pain in the abdomen
  • A lump or mass in the abdomen
  • Tiredness and loss of weight for no particular reason
  • Anaemia

Symptoms may come and go, so please don't wait if you have any concerns.   For more in-depth details, please click on one of the links below. 

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, so help us spread the word.

Behind the
campaign

Placeholder Chelsea

Hi. I’m Chelsea, and a couple of years ago I had surgery and chemo for bowel cancer.

This year, Bowel Cancer NZ asked me to become a community ambassador. I want to use the opportunity to make a difference for younger adults by raising awareness of the rising epidemic of this disease in people well under 50. So, I asked those brave young people you see in our campaign photography to help me, and this Never Too Young campaign was born.

Life was trucking along beautifully in August 2015. I’d established my own business, our children were moving out of the challenging infant stage, and we were taking a break in Wanaka to celebrate my husband’s 40th birthday.

I was 39, fit, healthy and bullet-proof. And then I was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer.

My own story would have been very different if a Wellington woman hadn’t publicly shared her story. Diagnosed in her 30s, with minor symptoms, her article rang a bell with me and spurred me to visit my GP. I was fortunate that my doctor acted quickly, and through my health insurance, I was in for surgery the following week. Six months of intensive chemotherapy followed, and I’m now in the clear, thanks to Trisha telling her story.

The news is not so good for hundreds of younger adults in New Zealand every year. “You’re too young, too healthy, too fit,” is often the catch cry, and many have symptoms for months or years before being diagnosed with advanced Bowel Cancer.

This disease kills nearly as many young New Zealanders as the road toll, and as many people as both breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Why? Lack of awareness and the sometimes-awkward nature of the conversation leads to late diagnosis. Many patients don’t know they have Bowel Cancer until it’s too late.

With the support of my good friend Tania Biddles at Q Brand Agency, we are determined to change this.

 

See behind the scenes of the campaign