Bowel cancer: The silent killer

By Ruth Laugesen In Health

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Brent Wray is one of 2800 New Zealanders diagnosed each year with bowel cancer, also known as colon cancer or colorectal cancer. About 1200 die of the disease each year, making it the country’s second-biggest cancer killer after lung cancer. An estimated $70 million is spent each year treating sufferers. Survival rates have improved in the past decade, as they have for many other cancers. But New Zealand still has one of the world’s highest death rates from bowel cancer in the world. By the time the average New Zealander turns 75, there is an almost 5% risk he or she will have developed bowel cancer, the third highest in the world after Slovakia and Hungary. Risks rise sharply after the age of 50. ...

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