Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Just diagnosed with bowel cancer

If a diagnosis of bowel cancer is confirmed, further testing is usually carried out for two reasons:

  • to check if the cancer has spread from the bowel to other parts of the body
  • to help decide on the most effective treatment for you.

These tests may include different types of scans, X-rays and blood tests.

Once the examinations and tests have been completed, it should be possible to determine the stage and grade of your cancer. Staging refers to how far your cancer has advanced. Grading relates to how aggressive and likely to spread your cancer is.

If the cancer is at a very early stage, it may be possible to remove just a small piece of the lining of the colon wall. This is known as 'local excision'.

If the cancer has spread into muscles surrounding the colon, it may be necessary to remove an entire section of your colon. Removing some of the colon is known as a 'colectomy'.

Different people deal with serious problems in different ways. It is hard to predict how knowing you have cancer will affect you. However, you and your loved ones may find it helpful to know about the feelings that people diagnosed with cancer have reported.

Visit the Bowel Cancer Australia website for information about resources, peer-to-peer support and other services for people affected by bowel cancer.

Last reviewed: August 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 2775 results

Bowel cancer screening and prevention | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government

Changes to your bowels can indicate a number of health conditions including cancer. If you notice changes to your regular bowel habits, especially if you notice blood in your stools you should consult your doctor. Under the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Australians turning 50, 55, 60 or 65 will be automatically offered a free bowel cancer screening kit to help detect any abnormalities early so that further investigation or treatment can occur.

Read more on Queensland Health website

Diagnosing breast cancer | Cancer Australia

A breast cancer diagnosis is usually made after a woman has a series of diagnostic tests.

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Diagnostic tests and cancer - NT.GOV.AU

The types of tests you will go through if you are diagnosed with cancer.

Read more on NT Health website

Bowel cancer - NT.GOV.AU

Prevention, detection tests, symptoms and treatment for bowel cancer.

Read more on NT Health website

Treatments and tests

Find information about treatments and tests browse by topic or A to Z.

Read more on WA Health website

National Bowel Cancer Screening Register

A record of your results if you have been tested for bowel cancer as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening program.

Read more on Medicare website

National Bowel Cancer Screening Register

A record of your results if you have been tested for bowel cancer as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening program.

Read more on Medicare website

Bowel cancer screening program - Cancer Council Australia

Regular bowel cancer screening using on FOBT kit can pick up pre-cancerous polyps. Find out more about tests for bowel cancer.

Read more on Cancer Council Australia website

Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Screening (Australia)

Home Information for Consumers General Information About Diagnostic Imaging Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Screening (Australia)

Read more on Diagnostic Imaging Pathways website

Referral to cancer specialists - NT.GOV.AU

Treatment plans, travelling and referrals to cancer specialists.

Read more on NT Health website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback