Colorectal Cancer — cancer of the colon or rectum

The colon and the rectum are part of the large intestine, which is part of the digestive system. Because colon cancer and rectal cancers have many features in common, they are sometimes referred to together as colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer includes cancers of both the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system, and the rectum, the last 8 to 10 inches of the colon.

Most colon and rectal cancers begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps become cancerous.

The colon is the first 6 feet of the large intestine. It has four sections:

  • The first section is called the ascending colon. It extends upward on the right side of the abdomen.
  • The second section is called the transverse colon since it goes across the body to the left side.
  • There it joins the third section, the descending colon, which continues downward on the left side.
  • The fourth section is known as the sigmoid colon because of its S-shape. The sigmoid colon joins the rectum, which, in turn, joins the anus, or the opening where waste matter passes out of the body.

There are several causes for colorectal cancer as well as factors that place certain individuals at increased risk for the disease. There are known genetic and environmental factors.

People at risk for colorectal cancer:

  • The biggest risk factor is age. Colorectal cancer is rare in those under 40 years. The rate of colorectal cancer detection begins to increase after age 40. Most colorectal cancer is diagnosed in those over 60 years.
  • Have a mother, father, sister, or brother who developed colorectal cancer or polyps. When more than one family member has had colorectal cancer, the risk to other members may be three-to-four times higher of developing the disease. This higher risk may be due to an inherited gene.
  • Have history of benign growths, such as polyps, that have been surgically removed.
  • Have a prior history of colon or rectal cancer.
  • Have disease or condition linked with increased risk.
  • Have a diet high in fat and low in fiber.

Having certain diseases or conditions may place people at increased risk for colorectal cancer. These include

  • Chronic ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory condition of the colon. People in this risk category have long-term disease, most for ten years or more.
  • Crohn’s disease, which is an inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. This disease may increase colorectal cancer risk, although not as much ulcerative colitis.
  • A history of breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer in women.
  • Inherited a specific colorectal cancer syndrome. Those with an inherited syndromes may develop colorectal cancer at a much younger age, in their 30s or even younger. Over the past several years, genetic forms of colorectal cancer have been identified and genetic tests developed.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer

The symptoms of colorectal cancer can be confused with those of a number of digestive disorders. Having one or more of these symptoms does not mean you have cancer

The following are the most common symptoms of colorectal cancer. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

Women who have any of the following symptoms should check with their physicians, especially if they are over 40 years old or have a personal or family history of the disease:

The symptoms of colorectal cancer may resemble other conditions, such as infections, hemorrhoids, and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also possible to have colon cancer and not have any symptoms. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Most colon cancers develop from polyps. Screening is extremely important for detecting polyps before they become cancerous. It can also help find colorectal cancer in its early stages when you have a good chance for recovery.

The doctor performs a thorough clinical evaluation that includes:

Common screening and diagnostic procedures include the following:

Another new test checks a stool sample for DNA from abnormal cells. In preliminary studies, the test has proved to be so accurate it may eventually eliminate the need for more-invasive examinations such as colonoscopy, at least in average-risk circumstances. A three-year clinical trial of this test by the National Cancer Institute is under way.

Screening Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society for early detection include:Beginning at age 50, both men and women should follow this testing schedule: Digital rectal examination should be performed at the time of each screening sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or barium enema examination.
 Yearly fecal occult blood test, plus:
 flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or
 colonoscopy every 10 years, or
 double contrast barium enema every 5-10 years
 People with any of the following colorectal cancer risk factors should begin screening procedures at an earlier age:
 strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (cancer or polyps in a first degree relative younger than 60 or in two first degree relatives of any age)
 family with hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes (familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer)
 personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
 personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease

Staging of Colorectal Cancer

Staging is the process of finding out how far the cancer has spread. This is very important because your treatment and the outlook for your recovery depend on the stage of your cancer. For early cancer, surgery may be all that is needed. For more advanced cancer, other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be used.


Stage 0
For cancers that are stage 0, the disease has not grown beyond the lining of the colon or rectum. Therefore surgical removal or destruction of the cancer is all that is needed. For larger tumors, a rectal or colon resection may be required.

Stage 1
For colon cancer, Stage 1 cancers have grown through several layers of the colon but have not spread outside the colon itself. Standard treatment is a colon resection with no other treatment generally needed.

Like colon cancer, Stage 1 rectal cancers have grown through numerous layers of tissue but not outside the rectum. The type of surgery used to treat this is dependant upon the location of the cancer, but the primary treatment is an abdominoperineal resection. Chemotherapy and radiation are sometimes administered before or after surgery.

Stage 2
Stage 2 colon cancer has penetrated the wall of the colon and spread into nearby tissue. However, it has not yet reached the lymph nodes. Usually the only treatment for this stage is a resection. Since some Stage 2 colon cancers have a tendency to recur, the doctor may also decide to treat the patient with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Once rectal cancer has reached Stage 2, it too has penetrated the walls of the rectum but has not yet reached the lymph nodes. It is generally treated with a resection and then both chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Stage 3
Stage 3 is considered an advanced stage of colorectal cancer. The disease has spread to the lymph nodes, but not to other parts or organs in the body. For both colon and rectal cancer, sectional surgery is done first and is followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Stage 4
For patients with Stage 4 colorectal cancer, the disease has spread to distant organs such as the liver, lungs and ovaries. When the cancer has reached this stage, surgery is generally aimed at relieving or preventing complications as opposed to curing the patient of the disease. Occasionally the cancer’s spread is restricted enough to where it can all be removed by surgery. For Stage 4 cancer that cannot be surgically removed, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both may be used to alleviate, delay or prevent symptoms

Treatment for colorectal cancer

Specific treatment for colorectal cancer will be determined by your physician based on:

Treatment choices for the person with colon cancer depend on the stage of the tumor – if it has spread and how far. When the disease has been found and staged, your physician will suggest a treatment plan. Treatment may include:

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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Tom Parker heads back to hospital to continue cancer treatment after ditching vegan diet

Tom Parker shared an update with his followers as he underwent treatment for cancer at hospital.

The 32-year-old dad of two, who recently received his first Covid-19 vaccination, filmed himself as he underwent treatment on his stage four tumour.

His latest post came just over four months after The Wanted musician revealed to fans that he had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

In Tom’s latest social media post, that the musician shared with his 212,000 Instagram followers on Monday, the singer revealed that he was ‘all hooked up’ as he underwent his latest round of treatment.

Tom later returned home to his wife and two kids where he later spoke to fans about the changes he has recently made to his diet.

While Tom initially opted for a largely vegan diet, he has since decided to add some meat back into his diet.

Tom Parker updated fans as he received treatment for his cancer

“When we first found out I was diagnosed with a brain tumour, everyone was like well on it for me,” Tom said on his Instagram story.

“All the information and stuff, I mean, you should have seen some of the stuff I was eating.”

“For the first couple of months, I pretty much went vegan didn’t I? Like I was eating lentils and s***.

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He added: “Anyway, I’m not doing the vegan thing, I didn’t really enjoy it. I’ve added a bit of meat back to my diet, nowhere near as much.”

Just last month, Tom also shared his pleasure at learning that his tumour had shrunk significantly since beginning treatment last year.

Following an MRI scan, the musician was told that he was responding well to treatment and vowed to continue fighting.

He wrote: “I had an MRI scan on Tuesday and my results today were a significant reduction to the tumour and I am responding well to treatment.

Tom later shared a tender moment with his wife as he spoke to fans about his latest diet
Tom later shared a tender moment with his wife as he spoke to fans about his latest diet changes

“Everyday I’m keeping on the fight to shrink this b******!”

Tom continued: “I can’t thank our wonderful NHS enough. You’re all having a tough time out there but we appreciate the work you are all doing on the front line.”

Tom and his wife Kelsey welcomed their son Bodhi in October, shortly after learning of his devastating cancer diagnosis.

Tom revealed he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2020
Tom revealed he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2020

Tom told fans he’s getting there ‘day by day’

The couple, who also share one year old Aurelia, have been sharing lots of adorable updates as they enjoy some precious family moments with their newborn.

In his January post, he also had nothing but praise for his wife.

Tom wrote: “To my amazing wife @being_kelsey who has literally been my rock. My babies- I fight for you every second of every day.

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Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson dies at 62 after battle with cancer

Sorenson was the first Marriott CEO whose name was not Marriott, and only the third to lead the company in its 93-year history.

Sorenson joined the company in 1996, leaving behind a partnership in a Washington law firm where he specialised in mergers and acquisitions. He rose to president and chief operating officer before he was named CEO in 2012.

After becoming Marriott’s top executive, he oversaw the $US13 billion ($16.8 billion) acquisition of Starwood Hotels in 2016. He pushed the international chain to become more sustainable while also trying to combat human trafficking. He advocated for gay rights and opposed President Donald Trump’s 2017 ban on travel from majority Muslim countries

Even at the depths of the coronavirus pandemic, when Marriott’s revenue plunged more than 70 per cent, Sorenson remained optimistic.

“The fact of the matter is, people love to travel. They love to travel for themselves personally and they love to travel for work,” Sorenson said din November. “It’s often the most interesting and it’s the place they’re going to learn the most.”

Tributes poured in Tuesday from business and civic leaders, including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and US Representative Jamie Raskin. CNBC host Jim Cramer said in a Twitter post that Sorenson believed business was the greatest source for social change.

“He was a wonderful leader who led with empathy, integrity and authenticity,” General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra tweeted.

Sorenson oversaw oversaw the $US13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels in 2016 as he turned Marriott into the world’s biggest hotel brand.Credit:Bloomberg

Sorenson served on Microsoft’s board of directors as well as the board of directors for the Special Olympics.

When Sorenson stepped back from full-time duties this month, Marriott turned to two veteran executives, Stephanie Linnartz and Tony Capuano, to oversee day-to-day operations. They will continue in those roles until Marriott’s board names a new CEO, which is expected to happen within two weeks, the company said.

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Alice hopes Brisbane test gives cancer patients a chance her father never had

Then came the sucker punch.

“A month later he went for a chest X-ray for his heart, and they discovered the melanoma had spread to his lungs,” she said.

“He’d had no idea. He hadn’t been sick, he was living healthy and he had a bit of a ticker problem, he was 63 and went to get that checked out and found the cancer instead.”

Mr Wehl endured several operations over the next 11 months and the cancer spread through his organs and to his brain. He succumbed to it in February 2014.

Three of his seven grandchildren were born during his year of battle against the cancer, and Ms Cottrell said he was making time for them up until the end.

“It was a busy year for him,” she said. “And he was a farmer, he always said he had too much work to do to die. He worked bloody hard while going through surgeries and still made time for his grandkids.

“He had grand plans of taking them all camping on Moreton Island when they were older.”

Mr Wehl suffered from metastatic melanoma, an aggressive form of melanoma which killed 1375 Australians in 2020, according to figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Associate Professor Jason Lee, who heads QIMR Berghofer’s epigenetics and disease group.Credit:QIMR

Researchers from QIMR Berghofer medical research institute believe they have developed a test they hope will get more people the treatment they need.

The use of immunotherapy to treat melanoma has grown exponentially in recent years, however some patients do not respond to the treatment.

QIMR associate professor Jason Lee said they had devised a way to test for a specific protein – LC3B – in cancer cells, which was associated with good responses to immunotherapy.

The study showed 95 per cent of patients with high LC3B levels were alive after three years, compared with 60 per cent of patients with low LC3B levels.

“Our ultimate goal is patients we identify to be very sensitive to immunotherapy, they can go and get that treatment, while the patients who are unlikely to respond to immunotherapy, we may be able to give them alternate therapy,” Professor Lee said.

The team also identified that some metastatic melanoma patients had high levels of the G9a enzyme in their cancer cells, which reduced the ability of immune cells to reach the tumour.

“We believe blocking the activity of G9a enzymes will in turn raise the level of LC3B protein, making patients more responsive to immunotherapy and possibly even other treatments.


“We are actively working to develop a drug that can be used to treat patients, but this will take time, as the drug we used in our studies isn’t commercially available.”

Alice Cottrell says she wished the researchers well, and hoped they gave other melanoma sufferers a chance her father never had.

“We’re finding out more every day that there are good cancers to get and bad cancers to get, and the one Dad had was definitely a bad one,” she said.

“And I know they’ve had lots of breakthroughs in melanomas but very few in this type, so it’s great to see there may be some hope for people in Dad’s position.”

The QIMR research has been published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

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February is Cancer Prevention Month; thankfully there’s some good news – Talking About Men’s Health™

February is Cancer Prevention Month, and with that comes the need to express how important it is to visit your doctor and get screened for this disease should you feel ill or are in pain.

While most people associate cancer for all the hard realities that come with it: chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, transplants, etc., there’s some hope that can be offered to those who are (understandably) nervous from getting screened, as well as survivors, from the disease.

Cancer death rates continue to decline, and according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the rate in death from this disease has dropped 31% from 1991-2018. Men’s Health Network (MHN), a national non-profit based in Washington D.C., will continue to advocate for early cancer detection, as well as educating men to learn and protect themselves from typical male cancers such as testicular and prostate cancer and how to protect their loved ones and families from cancer, according to Dr. Salvatore Giorgianni, Jr., a senior science advisor for MHN.

“The continuing decline in deaths due to cancers in the US is very important and encouraging,” Dr. Giorgianni said. “These declines are for the most part due to two very important reasons – increases in early detection of cancer and investments from pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies in advanced treatments and more accurate testing technologies.”

People will still unfortunately get this disease in 2021 and beyond. ACS researchers estimate 1.9 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and roughly 600,000 of them will die. However, progress continues to be seen in recent years, with cancer rates dropping an additional 2.4% from 2017 to 2018, which is the single biggest one-year drop in death rates.

The year 2020 (and the start of 2021) provided enough uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with that ACS does not and will not know the effect the COVID-19 pandemic will have on cancer diagnosis in general, but researchers say those with active cancer cases are more susceptible to being infected due to a weakened immune system.

MHN will continue to advocate for early cancer detection, as well as educating men to learn and protect themselves from typical male cancers such as testicular and prostate cancer and how to protect their loved ones and families from cancer, according to Dr. Giorgianni.

“Early detection, which means regular medical checkups, is THE key,” Dr. Giorgianni said. “[Men’s Health Network] urges all men to become more knowledgeable about cancer and then ‘man-up’ by doing all you can to take responsibility for the health of yourself and those you care about.”

The biggest takeaway hopefully taken from this is very simple, and that’s to visit your doctor on a regular basis to encourage early detection. The worst thing we can all do is take our foot off the gas and neglect our own bodies.

As a survivor of Acute Myeloid Leukemia of 19 years and counting, let the author reiterate the importance of staying on top of your doctors visits. This article would not have ever been written if early cancer detection wasn’t a part of the equation.

Testicular Cancer Awareness Month:

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Marilyn Monroe impersonators parade along Brighton Beach for cancer fundraiser

Marilyn Monroe was known for her glamour and grace, and more than 300 lookalikes have done their very best to live up to her standards during an annual fundraiser at an Adelaide beach.

Donning white dresses, bathers, sunglasses and blonde wigs, dozens of people impersonating the American screen idol paraded down Jetty Road at Brighton, before venturing onto the beach and into the water.

The Marilyn Jetty Swim is now in its eighth year and has gone from strength to strength since 2014, with this year’s total number of participants easily exceeding last year’s record-breaking tally.

While that will not necessarily count as an official record, organisers say what will count is the money collected for Cancer Council SA.

Impersonators in the water attracted a crowd of onlookers from the jetty.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

Event founder Sarah Tinney said more than $145,000 had been raised in the past 12 months alone.

“We haven’t actually lodged [the number of participants] with the Guinness World Records book to break our own record — we’re just quite happy we broke it last year with 254,” she said.

“If somebody comes back and tries to compete with us, maybe we’ll give it another go.”

Marilyn Monroe lookalike in the water at Brighton beach.
Despite the packed beach, social distancing requirements were in place.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

But that did not prevent a unofficial new world record for the most people dressed as Marilyn Monroe in the one location being declared at the event.

Adelaide’s unseasonably mild summer meant skies were more overcast than usual.

But the weather did not dampen the enthusiasm among the devotees, and Monroe’s trademark blown-kiss gesture was abundantly on show.

“[It is] a lovely team event, very inspirational, very fun.”

Marilyn Monroe lookalikes on Brighton beach.
While not official, a new world record was declared at the event.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

‘More of a glamorous paddle’

Social distancing requirements led to some compromises being made when it came to on-site cosmetics.

“All the Marilyns have to keep their swim rings around their waist at all times to help with the social distancing, so even when we’re marching we can’t really bump into each other because we’re going to have the inflatable devices around us.”

Marilyn Monroe impersonators congregate on Adelaide's Brighton beach.
Participants were required to abide by COVID-safe measures.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

The event is staged as part of the Brighton Jetty Classic open water swimming contest.

Jetty Road was closed this morning as the Marilyns, including several holding a banner bearing the words “blondes have more fun”, made their way to the water.

“I wouldn’t call it a swim, I’d call it more of a glamorous paddle,” Ms Tinney said.

Marilyn Monroe impersonators congregate on Adelaide's Brighton beach.
Hundreds congregated on the beach before braving the choppy waters.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

While the event remained an overwhelmingly female affair, more than a dozen men — included some sporting beards — were among those on the foreshore.

“We have ‘male-lyns’ this year as well, and we all get together to raise money for Cancer Council SA,” Ms Tinney said.

Marilyn Monroe impersonator blows a kiss.
Marilyn Monroe impersonator Russell says his wife helped him with his costume.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

One of those, Russell, said he felt “amazing” to take part in a group of “first timers”.

“Mum survived cancer last year and she’s down here today somewhere in the crowd, so I’m doing it for her,” he said.

“My beautiful wife Marilyn did my face and my hair.”

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Supporting Australians living with cancer – 16 News

Today, on World Cancer Day, the Morrison Government recognises the millions of Australians whose lives have been touched by cancer.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates more than 48,000 Australians died from cancer in 2020. This disease has a devastating impact on individuals, their families, friends, colleagues and classmates.

World Cancer Day encourages the world to unite in the fight against the cancer epidemic, with the message that Together, all our actions matter.

The Morrison Government has invested record funding in cancer research – $6.6 billion over four years from 2020–21 to 2023–24, which supports Australia’s best and brightest medical researchers in their fight against cancer.

In addition, more Australians are benefitting from our commitment to listing new, lifesaving and life-changing cancer treatments on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Recent new listings include

  • From 1 January 2021, Darzalex® (daratumumab) was listed on the PBS in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone, as a second-line treatment for patients with multiple myeloma – a cancer of the plasma cells. Around 1,165 patients per year may benefit from this listing. Without PBS subsidy, patients can pay around $160,000 per year for treatment.
  • On the same day, the PBS listing for Tagrisso® (osimertinib) was expanded for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, who have a certain type of mutation in the lungs, known as Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) positive. This expansion resulted in a script that previously cost close to $8,000 reduced to as little as $6.60 per script for about 1,120 patients per year.

All Australians can help combat this disease, and one of the best ways is through cancer screening. Cancer screening can help protect your health through early detection, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Simple screening tests look for particular changes and early signs of cancer before it has developed or before any symptoms emerge.

Each year, more than 7.5 million Australians participate in our free national cancer screening programs for bowel, breast and cervical cancers.

The Government asks Australians to make their health a priority on World Cancer Day. Speak to your healthcare provider today to check if you are due or overdue for screening and visit for more information about our national cancer screening programs.

Through early detection and treatment, routine cancer screening can lessen the impact of cancer on a personal level and a global scale.

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What it’s like to be diagnosed with cancer in prison

A cancer diagnosis can strike at any time and in any setting – including in prison.  

Each year, an estimated 300 inmates in New South Wales will be diagnosed with the disease while in custody, adding complex layers of challenges to what is already a life-changing experience.

At a minimum-security prison on the outskirts of Sydney, Michael (not his real name) describes what it was like to receive such news. 

“I was shocked,” he says. “It was pretty much all through my body, in my spine, in my hips, in my head. It’s a blood cancer but it seeped into the bones.” 

Michael was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2020.


Midway through 2020, Michael, who is in his 40s, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer that affects the immune system.

“I was worried for my family, for myself, but mainly for my kids. My boys just lost their mother not long ago and I was worried for them that they were going to lose me.”  

I was worried for my family, for myself, but mainly for my kids.

Leanne Foster, a cancer care specialist with Justice NSW, says that’s a common feeling among inmates when they are first delivered a diagnosis.  

“I think with anybody that has a diagnosis of a terminal illness, it’s quite shocking and then they go through denial; ‘no I’m not going to die, I don’t want to die in custody,'” she says.   

Ms Foster explains how for many, it feels like a double sentence. 

“Being diagnosed with cancer is quite a horrible thing but also being in custody, it’s like a double whammy, so we try and reduce as much stress as possible.  

For the past four years, Ms Foster has been supporting cancer patients in the Corrective Services NSW system, from diagnosis to remission, management and end of life care.

Leanne Foster is a Cancer Nurse Specialist, Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network NSW.

Leanne Foster supports prisoners with cancer.


“The treatment is really no different to what there is in the community, except the access of family,” she says. 

Ms Foster works to ensure all of her patients are treated with “dignity and respect”.

“There is always a stigma with being in custody. We don’t ask them why they are here and we don’t treat them any different. We all need to be treated fairly and equally and not be judged because cancer does not discriminate.”

Treatment in custody

Shortly after his diagnosis last year, Michael was transferred to hospital for a stem cell transplant, a process that removes cancer cells and replaces them with healthy ones.

“I was in a normal ward with everyone else, [but] they still had two officers there all night and all day,” he says. 

“I thought they treated me well. All the nurses were friendly, all the doctors were friendly. They gave me the same care as everyone else. It is important because it makes you feel good and motivates you to get better.” 

I was in a normal ward but they still had two officers there all night and all day.

But, he says, it was difficult to go through without the support of his family. 

“[There was] lot of pressure. I can’t go to my support, my family. It was hard too because of COVID. I couldn’t get visits while I was in hospital so it was pretty hard going through it by myself.

“But you’ve just got to deal with it. It’s part of being in jail.”

Ms Foster says most health services are happy to take on her patients, but there are challenges at times. 

“I’ve had some medical centres say no because I say where I am from, who I am, and I have a patient that needs help in the community.”

Michael says it’s important all cancer patients are treated equally. 

“We’ve been punished, we’re doing our time. We should still be treated like human beings. We’ve still got to get out in the community one day and we’d like to be treated like everyone else.” 

Cancer awareness in custody

Michael is now in remission.

“I am feeling real good. My legs are still a bit sore but they reckon it’s going to take six to 12 months for my body to get back to normal. But there is no cancer. I am in remission and I’m very happy,” he says/ 

He believes prison populations should be included in early cancer detection campaigns.

“Cancer is a silent killer. It’ll sneak up on you and if you don’t find out you’ve got it, it might be too late.”

Leanne Foster hopes to expand cancer awareness campaigns in correctional centres across NSW.

Leanne Foster hopes to expand cancer awareness campaigns in correctional centres across NSW.


Ms Foster has been working to boost cancer awareness among those in custody, saying in some cases, inmates may have developed the disease before they are placed into a correctional facility. 

“We’ve had quite a few that have had quite advanced disease when they’ve come. So they didn’t know about it in the community, it was picked up when they came into custody.”

Last year, Ms Foster held breast cancer awareness days at two women’s correctional centres.

“The women in Silverwater and Emu Plains really embraced it. It was a great day, lots of questions asked, the girls were really receptive of it.”

She says the women were encouraged to undergo an examination and that resulted in two diagnoses.

“We had two women there that had breast cancer. One of them said later on if she was in the community she would not have gone and had it checked. So she’s had a double mastectomy and the other one is still being treated.

“It’s been quite an eye-opener for the other girls in the centre.” 

Ms Foster is hoping to expand the campaign into in 2021. 

World Cancer Day is marked on 4 February. More information about cancer and a list of support organisations in Australia can be found at 

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World Cancer Day: Teal returns, stats reveal yearly cases in city | The Border Mail

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Without knowing it, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews lifted border checkpoints and enabled a long-standing tradition to continue on the Lincoln Causeway. Mr Andrews may not have said why the infrastructure was removed, but the Border Ovarian Cancer Awareness Group is just happy their teal undies can fly unimpeded for the month of February. “Last week, we were scrambling to find a place we could put them as they had trucks and all sorts of things parked in front,” president Heather Watts said. “And then, the day before we were due to put them up it all came down and it was fine.” As Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month begins, $15,000 has been dedicated to local research into the cancer by a Border group. The Community Crew Albury ran the ‘Touch of Teal’ lunch at the Albury Entertainment Centre last year, with 100 people raising the funds for the Kelsey Watts Memorial Ovarian Cancer Research Grant. The grant began with $100,000 donated by BOCAG in 2016 to the Border Medical Oncology Research Unit, to fund a nurse position. The unit is currently involved in five clinical trials for ovarian cancer, some which are testing new compounds shown to be effective in treating the disease. Ms Watts said the $15,000 from the Community Crew was a significant boost for the research grant, which complements work done by David Bowtell as principal investigator for the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study. “Professor Bowtell says you won’t be able to eradicate it, but you’ll be able to live with it, and that’s what they’re aiming for,” she said. Ovarian cancer is one of the most serious forms of cancers affecting women; only 46 per cent diagnosed survive past five years. There can be genetic links but in most cases, the cause is unknown, and there is no screening test. Researchers believe they’ve never been closer to improving treatment for the deadliest female cancer, Ovarian Cancer Australia says. Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre board member John Watson said it was crucial research into ovarian cancer be funded. “We’re very appreciative of any group bringing funds,” he said. “To have a nurse there [at the research unit] doing trial work is fantastic. “To think that the philanthropic people in our wider community keep giving to the trust is amazing. “It means it all gets spent here, it’s not tied up in an organisation in Melbourne. “The important message is awareness, and to talk to your GP if you don’t feel right.” For World Cancer Day, Cancer Council Victoria released data showing 239 people are diagnosed with cancer in Wodonga each year and 34 locals lose their lives to the disease. IN OTHER NEWS: Of these new cases each year, 26 people are diagnosed with lung cancer on average, 23 with melanoma, 31 with bowel cancer, 31 with breast cancer and 30 with prostate cancer. “We were concerned to see a drop in screening rates across the board last year due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Cancer Council Victoria chief executive Todd Harper said. “If you have received an invitation to participate in a cancer screening program, please do not delay.”


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World Cancer Day: Inspiring Quotes by Cancer Survivors

Cancer is a disease that affects most of us at some point in our lives—whether it be our own diagnosis or that of a loved one. Created in 2000 to be held every February 4, World Cancer Day is a global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to face one of our greatest challenges.

2021 Campaign theme is: “I Am and I Will”. It shows us that our actions have an impact on everyone around us, within our neighborhoods, communities, and cities. And that more than ever, our actions are also being felt across borders and oceans. This year is a reminder of the enduring power of cooperation and collective action. When we choose to come together, we can achieve what we all wish for: a healthier, brighter world without cancer. Together, all of our actions matter.

We bring you a peep into stories of celebrities who were diagnosed with cancer and came out victorious.

“Time is shortening. But every day that I challenge this cancer and survive is a victory for me.” – Ingrid Bergman

“Cancer has shown me what family is. It showed me a love that I never knew really existed.” – Michael Douglas

“Above all, cancer is a spiritual practice that teaches me about faith and resilience.” – Kris Carr

“Cancer opens many doors. One of the most important is your heart.” – Greg Anderson

“Hey listen, the world is falling apart, what’s a lip,” she joked, adding that her doctor “dug into” her lip to remove the cancer. “Yeah, they did [biopsy it.] I’m going to be fine, thanks.” Jane Fonda

Colombian-American actress Sofia Vergara skyrocketed to fame with her role of Gloria Pritchett on the hit TV show Modern Family. Vergara said, “I was skeptical about having my thyroid gland removed. Plus, the surgery is dangerous. If the doctor makes a mistake, you can lose your speech, or the mobility in your face. But I did it.”

Special correspondent Joan Lunden was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2014. Today, she is cancer-free and has become an advocate for other women facing breast cancer. In her words “I’m not going to lie: Losing your hair is really weird. Hair is such an integral part of how you look and feel and when you take it away, it’s weird. It’s like someone drew a picture of you, but just erased the hair! Remember, you’re still you, you might just not look exactly like you for a while.” She adds, “I tried as much as I could to maintain a somewhat normal schedule. I was set to host a baby shower for my pregnant daughter and kept it on my calendar. I decided that cancer wasn’t going to take that away from me.”

TV host Samantha Harris shared in her instagram “Five years ago today, I lay in a hospital bed awaiting my bilateral mastectomy. Today, I am stronger than ever! Five years ago, I had invasive breast cancer. Just 40 years old. My hubby and I have little girls who were just ages 3 and 6 at the time. Life stopped. Forget the daily hustle. It became all about survival. I didn’t know what the next days, weeks and months would entail. I just knew I needed to get through it. Survive then focus on trying to thrive. My diagnosis blindsided me, my husband and our family. My dad died of colon cancer…so my diagnosis news hit my mom and sister hard, too. My hubby, although strong for me and our girls, felt scared and worried about how he would get along without me and raise two girls without their mom/his wife, if this didn’t all go the way we prayed.”

There are many more like Judy Blume, Jaclyn Smith, Betsey Johnson, Shannon Miller who are a role model in their own way to help us understand significance of good health.

Here’s to wishing all those struggling with cancer all the best. Do not lose hope and Happy World Cancer Day everyone!

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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