'I know my body': Young Melbourne mum's bowel cancer diagnosis a warning to all

With 80 Australians dying each week from bowel cancer there are regular reminders about the dangers of eating too much red meat.

 

One young Melbourne mother became all too aware of the risks when she received a devastating diagnosis in March.

“I just thought there's something wrong here - I know my body,” Nicole Cooper told 7 News.

Young mum Nicole Cooper was aware there was something wrong with her body. Source: 7 News

The Bentleigh East mother mum recalled being told she had bowel cancer “and the fact it's in your liver means it is very advanced”.

She was given two to five years to live and was told there was a slim chance that aggressive chemotherapy would work.

Nicole's bowel cancer diagnosis was a shock. Source: 7 News

The 33-year-old took charge of her lifestyle and eliminated red meat from her diet.

“I didn't find it hard at all but I have cancer,” she said.

She was given two-to-five years to live. Source: 7 News

Meals are usually centred around meat but with red meat and processed meats – a known risk factor for bowel cancer – and we are now being advised to limit our consumption.

Australians eat almost 56 kilograms of red meat a year, however it's recommended we limit that amount to 500 grams a week with little or no processed meat.

Stephanie Bansemer-Brown from Bowel Cancer Australia said the disease “is treatable if detected early”.

“Survival rates are about 60 per cent and we really need to change those statistics through lifestyle and risk factors," she said.

Nicole is now setting goals for her future. Source: 7 News

This week Nicole was told that chemo has eliminated all but one tumour, and while there is still a long road ahead she's allowed herself to set a new goal.

Walking her son to his first day of school.

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