Tackling bowel cancer from all angles

With it estimated that 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with bowel cancer in their lifetime – including rising rates in people under 50 – the Bowel Health Research Team at Flinders are tackling bowel cancer from all angles.

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Your support is helping to tackle bowel cancer from all angles. Thank you! 

Flinders Foundation Seed Grant funding has helped get research projects up and running, enabling researchers to then go on and secure larger funding grants to progress their research even further. 

“Bowel cancer is still one of the most common cancers in Australia, so our research is really focused on finding the best ways to detect and prevent it”

Associate Professor Erin Symonds, Team Leader of the Flinders Bowel Health Service (pictured left).

“I feel like we’re on the edge of making a difference, and with support of our research, we hope that we can prevent the risk for late-stage bowel cancer and stop hearing about people who are having their bowel cancer go undetected.”

Helping bowel cancer patients

The wide-ranging research stands to benefit people just like Renee (pictured), who at just 33 years old, was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer.

A Flinders patient, and also a bowel cancer researcher herself, Renee shared her story as part of Flinders Foundation’s cancer fundraising appeal last year to raise funds for valuable research.

Thank you for supporting this important cause. 

Pleasingly, Renee is now cancer-free but bowel cancer is never far from her thoughts. She still lives with the effects, and there’s constant worry that it may one day return.

That’s why she’s a passionate advocate for bowel cancer research, including the biomarker research being carried out at Flinders.

Read Renee's story

The Bowel Health Research Team’s work includes: 

  •  Listening to experiences of those affected by bowel cancer to determine ways to better address the needs of young people with bowel cancer  
  • Working to identify new bowel cancer biomarkers in blood to provide additional screening methods 
  • Identifying bacteria associated with bowel cancer in the hopes of detecting pre-cancerous ‘polyps’ before bowel cancer develops 
  • Determining ways to safely reduce how often people need a colonoscopy whilst maintaining adequate bowel cancer surveillance for patients 
  • Looking into diet and lifestyle factors which can reduce bowel cancer risk 
  • Working with the ‘SCOOP’ team carrying out surveillance on around 9,000 residents in southern Adelaide who have had, or are at an increased risk of, bowel cancer to make sure they are closely monitored for the earliest signs of bowel cancer 
  • Assessing new screening tests to help speed up the diagnoses for patients experiencing bowel cancer symptoms 
  • Looking at health economics and resources of managing bowel cancer along with ways to improve care for patients 

The bowel cancer research and care at Flinders continues to grow each year

Flinders University Cancer Research Lead, Associate Professor Michael Michael, highlights how well regarded the group’s work is across the country.

“If you’re at risk of bowel cancer, then living in Southern Adelaide is one of the best places to be, because there’s great infrastructure, care and research to look after you and hopefully save your life.”

Associate Professor Michael (pictured).

“The research happening here at Flinders is well regarded nationwide and it only continues to grow.”

Thank you for supporting bowel cancer research at Flinders.

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