In late 2008, much-loved entertainment and TV personality Geoff ‘Coxy’ Cox was diagnosed with bowel cancer. ‘Coxy’ went on to receive treatment at Melbourne’s Cabrini Hospital, having a tumour “the size of tennis ball” removed from his colon, before undergoing a course of chemotherapy that was completed in May 2009.
He has since been given the “all clear” by doctors, and being the big-hearted man that he is, ‘Coxy’ has now stepped forward to promote the importance of screening for the early signs of bowel cancer. He is especially keen to emphasise the existence of a type of screening called a Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) Test – because it is a simple, non-invasive test that can be completed in privacy at home, without any discomfort or embarrassment.
Bowel cancer snapshot
- Bowel cancer is the most common cancer affecting both men and women in Australia
- There are around 13,000 new cases of bowel cancer diagnosed in Australia each year
- Almost 100 Australians die from bowel cancer each week – that’s approximately 1 person every 2 hours
- Symptoms may include: bleeding from the bottom or blood in the stool, persistent change in bowel habits, unexplained tiredness or weight loss
- Often symptoms only appear once the disease has progressed, making it difficult to treat to a full recovery
Even though bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer after lung cancer, the good news is that if detected and treated at an early stage, 90% of bowel cancers can be cured.
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