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Fitness & Health

10th Sep 2013

The Blue Truth About… Bowel Cancer in Men

Here's all you need to know about bowel cancer, one of the most important cancers for men to be aware of.


Here’s all you need to know about bowel cancer, one of the most important cancers for men to be aware of.


Blue September, sponsored by Vhi Healthcare, is an international men’s health campaign that seeks to tackle the issue of cancer in men and it’s a fun way of delivering a serious message. Celebrated all across the world including USA, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and this year, with thanks to Vhi, Blue September is coming back to Ireland!

We’ll be doing our bit to help educate the Irish men about the important issues that often go unspoken, and today it’s bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer (also known as colon, rectal or colorectal cancer) is the second most common cancer in men, with a truly staggering one in ten men likely to be diagnosed with the disease by age 85. As with all cancers, early detection is key, but healthy living can also help in preemptive fight against it.

Obviously the symptoms should not be ignored and include the below:
–    Blood in the motion or abdominal bloating or cramping
–    A recent and persistent change in bowel habit with diarrhoea, constipation or the feeling of incomplete emptying or thin bowel movements
–    Unexplained tiredness or weight loss.

If you’re of an older age then the risks are higher. It’s also considerably higher if you’re heavily overweight and/or a smoker or if previous generations of your family have contracted the disease.

Of course you can battle this by exercising regularly and eating well daily. Now this doesn’t have to see you squeezing in a wetsuit, lycra and a onesie and tackling an Ironman, just regularly keeping the blood in the legs flowing by taking the dog for an extra walk in the morning or the evening. Just be careful of the auld back when you’re picking up the dog poo – we’re assuming of course that our JOE readers head out with their respective K9’s, plastic bag in hand…

The same goes for diet – which should be balanced. Yep, sorry lads, that doesn’t mean balancing a snack box with a curry. More including a good helping of fresh fruit and vegetables in your culinary excursions. Remember, that old saying is true “too much of anything isn’t good for you.” While the sugars in fruit are natural, it’s still sugar and should be eaten in moderation. And sure look it, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t indulge every once and a while – just make sure it’s a cheat meal not a cheat month.

Lads, you know your bodies better than anyone – remember that. If you don’t feel right for a consistent period of time then contact your GP and be honest with them. If there is something wrong then chances are you’ve caught it early and can be treated – but only if you’ve been paying attention to your body.


LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge