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STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS: Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

18 June 2014


Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (13:30): I rise to inform the house about Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: when ‘small actions create a big movement’. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia—and our second biggest cancer killer, claiming the lives of 77 Australians every week. We have one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world, with around 15,000 people diagnosed every year. This disease does not discriminate on gender or age; however, early detection of bowel cancer does save lives, if detected early enough. Unfortunately the five-year survival rate in Australia is just 66 per cent compared to around 90 per cent for melanoma, breast and prostate cancers.

To draw attention to bowel cancer, the iconic facade of Old Parliament House is this week being illuminated red and green, the colours of Bowel Cancer Australia’s apple logo and the Bowel Cancer Awareness Month ribbon. This disease is preventable, treatable and beatable, but people need to know about it. Today is Red Apple Day. I urge everyone in this place to purchase a Red Apple pin and munch on a red apple—full of fibre and great for your digestive system—and to spread the message of bowel cancer awareness.