Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in Australia, but it doesn’t have to be. Detected early, 99% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated or even prevented.
Our workplace program gives you the opportunity to educate your staff about the steps everyone can take to prevent bowel cancer and lead healthy lives.
‘The power of this program to make a difference is enormous.’
Jock Duncan, Hood Sweeney
Nick Lee is Founder & Chair of the Jodi Lee Foundation. His future changed in an instant when his wife Jodi was diagnosed with Stage IV bowel cancer at age 39. After battling the disease for two years, Jodi passed away in 2010. Nick has a wealth of corporate experience and is an accomplished speaker, using his story to motivate and inspire others to take steps to prevent bowel cancer and make positive changes to improve their health.
Hugo Toovey is a Captain in the Australian Army, Founder of 25StayAlive and Youth Ambassador for the Jodi Lee Foundation. Aged only 21, Hugo was diagnosed with testicular cancer which he fought and beat, only to be diagnosed with bowel cancer five years later. He has somehow managed to maintain his sense of humour and is now an outspoken advocate for physical and mental health. Hugo is inspiring, real and raw. If it wasn’t for early detection, Hugo’s chance of survival would have been very different.
Dahlia Matkovic is a Youth Ambassador for the Jodi Lee Foundation, she is on a mission to connect with fellow young bowel cancer patients around the world. Dahlia wants to encourage people, no matter their age, to look out for symptoms and if something not quite right to seek medical help.
Jack Lee is Jodi’s eldest child. He has proudly supported the Jodi Lee Foundation’s initiatives over many years, completing his first 80km JLF Trek at the age of 12. Understanding the impact bowel cancer can have on a family, Jack is passionate about educating people to protect themselves. Hearing someone so young talk openly about how he was impacted and found strength to bounce back is emotional, inspiring and motivating. Jack is currently studying Commerce and Melbourne University.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM/
To support the presentation, the program includes the following:
- An introduction to encourage employees to attend the presentation
- Simple at-home screening tests which you can purchase to provide to at-risk employees
- A symptom checker to help employees identify if and when to visit their GP
- An online family history tool that provides a personalised risk assessment
A few months after the presentation we would appreciate you circulating a survey to employees to help us understand the impact of the program.
If you choose to purchase screening tests, we will provide you with an anonymous report showing the number of tests completed and the results.
Presentation at your workplace
$1,200 + GST for two presenters
$900 + GST for one presenter
We ask you to cover the cost of flights
$1,000 + GST for two presenters
$750 + GST for one presenter
Maximum 100 people
Purchased through our partner Clinical Genomics
My story begins a short time before turning 30. I attended Nick’s presentation and Jodi’s story hit me hard as my brother-in-law (in his 40s with three children) is in the final throes of a losing battle with bowel cancer. At the end of the presentation, our CEO announced that they had purchased everyone in the company a screening test and I decided to take one. I had recently moved in with my girlfriend so it took a few weeks before I did the test. It was far easier and less dramatic than I imagined it would be. A few weeks later I received a phone call at work from my GP’s office asking me to come and see him straight away. My heart sank and fear set in.
When I arrived home, I found a letter in the mailbox stating that my test had come back positive for blood – more fear set in. The following day I met with the GP. He was amused and confused why I had even taken the test but thrilled when I explained the work visit from Nick. He said although I’m young and have no symptoms, I had to see a specialist just to rule things out. After giving me some statistics about how unlikely it was that I had anything wrong, I left feeling a little better.
The specialist had much the same reaction and explained it was very unlikely he’d find anything, but a colonoscopy was a formality we had to take. When I awoke from the colonoscopy I was told that the specialist wanted to see me straight away. He said he was in disbelief, as he had found and removed six polyps which were sent for biopsy.
I have since been informed that of two of the polyps were ‘nasty ones’ and if left untreated would have likely turned into bowel cancer.
I can’t express my thanks to Nick and to REDARC Electronic strongly enough. Without their conscious efforts to spread the word (and the extremely fortuitous luck I’ve had), I’d likely be in the same boat as my brother-in-law in a few years’ time. Early detection through a simple screening test has more than likely saved my life. Thank you.
From start to finish the program was educational, professional and ultimately personal. The Foundation was fantastic in the way they coordinated and managed the program – in particular the educational materials and short presentation provided to our staff. As a result, more employees took the opportunity to complete the test than we expected, and those who did it indicated how easy it was. The most satisfying element came from one employee, who said that taking the test uncovered an issue that potentially saved their life. The power of this program to make a difference is enormous.
Feedback from our employees showed the program was educational, easy-to-understand and very powerful in its message. Employees responded well to Nick’s presentation, with many participating in screening as a result. It’s such a simple test and it saves lives. If getting your workplace to participate can potentially save just one life, it’s worth it.
Like many, the Australian football community has experienced first-hand the devastating impact of bowel cancer. The response was outstanding and the level of knowledge gained has proved to be invaluable.
This program makes sense, is easy to coordinate, and it is in line with our Core Values. It is also low cost yet high value and has an ongoing employee benefit through regular reminders to screen that are automatically issued to those who take part.
The wellbeing of our staff is paramount to the success of our business and with a considerable proportion of our staff being over 40, I felt it important that we make them aware of the prevalence of bowel cancer and that it can be prevented.
Understanding the prevalence of bowel cancer, there was no question about providing this screening service to our employees. The care and concern offered by ResourceCo through the provision of the program certainly aided in maintaining our employees’ satisfaction and morale.
We offered the program to all employees nationally and felt the initiative empowered employees to take responsibility for their health in relation to this highly preventable disease. We were thrilled to learn of at least one life that was saved as a result.
We are committed to caring for the health and wellbeing of our employees and our employees responded positively to the Workplace prevention Program, with many choosing to take a screening test and at least one life saved, that we know of, as a result of the initiative.
Beach provided all employees, and their respective partners, with bowel cancer screening kits through the program, and the feedback has been strongly supportive of the screening kits and how easy they are to use.
Last season, Nick Lee came into the club and spoke to players about his family’s experience with bowel cancer and the importance of early detection. It surprised many of the boys to learn just how common the disease is, but also how much of an impact early detection can have.
As a health care provider HSS understands the importance of early detection and prevention in serious illnesses such as bowel cancer. HSS cares about its staff members and wants to assist them to be proactive about their health, so the screening kits and information sessions were very well received.
Frequently Asked Questions/
Why bowel cancer?
Australia has one of the highest rates bowel cancer in the world, with 16,000 people expected to be diagnosed this year. Bowel cancer claims over 5,000 lives each year, making it the second biggest cancer killer in Australia. Yet detected early, 99% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated, or even prevented. There are steps employees of all ages can take to reduce their risk of developing bowel cancer and lead a healthier life. Bowel cancer mainly affects people from age 50, people with relevant family or personal medical history, and those who smoke, drink alcohol, are overweight and lead sedentary lifestyles. However, around 1,400 younger Australians are diagnosed each year, representing 9% of the total number diagnosed.
WHAT DOES THE AT-HOME SCREENING TEST INVOLVE?
The at-home screening test detects tiny traces of blood in a bowel movement, it does not test for cancer. The existence of blood may be a sign of cancer or a polyp, a tiny clump of cells which over time develop into cancer. If the result is positive for blood, your GP should refer you for a colonoscopy to investigate the cause. A negative test result indicates that no blood was detected in the bowel movement. However, screening tests are not always 100% accurate as cancers and polyps bleed intermittently. The screening test should be repeated every two years to increase the chances of early detection.
HOW MANY SCREENING TESTS SHOULD I ORDER?
Medical guidelines in Australia recommend bowel screening every two years from age 50, or from age 45 after speaking to a GP about the benefits and risks involved. Employees over age 50 are eligible for free screening through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. We strongly encourage people in this age group to take the test when it arrives in the mail. The risk of bowel cancer increases four-fold during your 40s, rising sharply and progressively from age 50. Coupled with the number of people under age 50 diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, the Jodi Lee Foundation urges all adults to be bowel cancer aware and to consider whether screening before age 50 is right for them. If you choose to purchase screening tests, we recommend you order enough to provide to employees aged 45+ immediately after the presentation. If you need more, you can easily order additional tests.
HOW CAN I ENSURE WE MAKE THE MOST OF THE PROGRAM ?
The most successful outcomes are achieved when senior management takes ownership of the program, a champion is nominated to take responsibility for running the program internally and employees accepting a screening test are followed up to make sure they return it to the pathology laboratory.