Sarah, Margaret River

Bowel cancer champion

If you stick your head in the sand and you’re in denial, you might lose your life.

Sarah’s story

Not long before busy wife and mother Sarah was diagnosed with bowel cancer, she and her family moved on to a new property in Margaret River. They were living in a caravan while they built a new house and she was looking after her husband who was recovering from a serious injury.

At age 46, Sarah was experiencing constipation, tummy pain, chronic tiredness and a lump in her abdomen. She thought it may have been due to stress and was taking probiotics to improve her gut health though a family member who thought it could be appendicitis urged her to visit a doctor.

Despite being so busy, Sarah followed this advice and when she visited her local GP in 2017, she knew from the questions she was being asked that she had bowel cancer. Sarah then underwent surgery and chemotherapy.

Sarah encourages anyone who has noticed an unusual symptom to visit their GP.

Sarah’s advice

‘You have to deal with the fear and get checked out’.

 ‘If you get it in the early stages, your chance of going on to live a happy and normal life is so much greater’.

‘Take your health into your own hands’.

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Bowel cancer screening

Bowel cancer screening kits are designed for people who don’t have any noticeable symptoms of bowel cancer.

If you don’t have any bowel cancer symptoms and you’re eligible, it is recommended you participate in the free National Bowel Cancer Screening Program for people aged 50-74.

If you do have possible bowel cancer symptoms, it’s recommend you see your doctor, clinic nurse or health worker without delay.

Remember, the earlier cancer is found, the better your chances of survival. So, make sure you participate in free screening at every opportunity and see your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms.