Hunter bowel cancer rate high

Hunter residents are dying needlessly from bowel cancer – steps can be taken to reduce the risk.

About 60 people on average die from bowel cancer each year in the Hunter, but many of these deaths could be prevented, a leading advocacy group says.

Death rates for the disease per 100,000 people in the Upper Hunter, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and Maitland were higher than the NSW rate.

Bowel Cancer Australia, which provided these figures, warned that diet and lifestyle were linked to about three quarters of bowel cancer cases.

Across Australia, 15,000 people were diagnosed each year with the disease.

Of these, more than 4000 people die, Bowel Cancer Australia chief executive Julien Wiggins said.

Mr Wiggins said the western diet increased bowel cancer risk, along with excessive sitting, a lack of physical activity and obesity.

“Up to 75 per cent of cases are believed to be diet and lifestyle related,” Mr Wiggins said.Additionally, 20 per cent of cases were related to family history and about 5 per cent to genetics.

“To reduce risk, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon, it can mean washing the car, vacuuming, walking and taking the stairs and not the lift,” he said.

Changes to diet and lifestyle “don’t have to be drastic, but can help reduce bowel cancer risk”.

Increasing fibre, particularly fruit and vegetables, was important.

“We know red meat is linked to increased bowel cancer risk,” he said.

“We’re not saying stop eating it, we’re just saying if you choose to eat red meat, try to aim for less than 500 grams a week.”

Processed meat, such as salami, should be avoided where possible.

“If you do enjoy a barbecue, try to marinate or partly cook the meat first in the oven to protect it from burning,” he said.

This was aimed at reducing “cooking time on open flames”.

“Charred or blackened meats should be avoided, as they can damage the cells lining the bowel,” he said.

Alcohol, smoking and body weight were factors in the disease.

“If you choose to drink, limit yourself to no more than two a day for men and one for women,” he said.

Increased body weight, particularly abdominal fat, was a risk factor for bowel cancer. Quitting smoking was another way to reduce risk.

A Bowel Cancer Australia report said the disease’s death rate soared 10-fold between the ages of 50 and 79.

“The tragedy of bowel cancer is that it is largely a preventable disease,” the report said.

Cancer of the bowel could be pinpointed and surgically removed, so the bowel can continue to operate.

“Bowel cancer can be beaten through public education, early detection and treatment.”

Mr Wiggins recommended that people aged over 50 take part in bowel cancer screening – using a test kit –every one to two years.

“The earlier it’s detected, the more successful it is to treat,” he said.

“Don’t wait until it’s too late because bowel cancer often develops without any warning signs.”

Some receive the test kit in the mail for free, but it could be bought at pharmacies. Callan Douglas, 31, urged people to take the test, saying “that’s what saved dad’s life”.

“They estimated that dad’s cancer was in him for five years. That was five years without any symptoms at all.”

Callan Douglas was overwhelmed with the support he received during the trek. Of his son’s achievement, Andrew Douglas said “I take my hat off to him”.

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‘They went straight through them’: Burton sparks Rams under-16s comeback

THE SPICE RACK: Orange CYMS back-rower Hudson Spicer was strong for the Rams in Saturday’s win over Bidgee. Photo: PETER CLARKEA MATT Burton-inspired Western Rams has recovered from an early 12-point deficit to record a crucial 22-18 victory over Bidgee Bulls in the opening round of the 2016 under-16 AAMI Country Championships.

Playing at West Wyalong’s Ron Crowe Oval, Western struggled early as Bulls guns James Howse and Griffin Pinney crossed for tries to shoot Bidgee out to a 12-0 lead, Billy McGovern landing both conversions.

But the second-half was completely different.

Four tries in the space of 15 minutes rocketed Jamie Szczerbanik’s side to a 22-12 lead and, despite a late try by Bidgee behemoth Tomasi Baravilala, the Rams held on to win 22-18 over a team manager Andrew Pull believes is Western’s biggest challenge for the southern pool’s number one ranking.

“I’m really proud to be associated with this group of kids,” Pull said following the win.

“They couldn’t hold on to the ball in that first half, but whatever the coach said at half-time worked because they ran 100 miles an hour in the second half.

“They went straight through them.”

Burton was instrumental in that turnaround.

Two minutes into the second half the St John’s Dubbo product laid on the first try for Condobolin’s David White before Coonabarabran winger Jack Isedale crossed for the Rams’ second four-pointer to reduce the deficit to just two points.

Orange CYMS halfback Josh Board then scored in the 14th minute of the second half after latching on to a wonderful offload by clubmate Hudson Spicer to put the Rams in the lead for the first time.

Sealing the victory, Burton then stepped two would-be Bidgee tacklers to score a cracking individual try.

He then landed his third conversion of the game to shoot Western’s lead out to 22-12, which was enough for the Rams to hold on and win by four points.

Szczerbanik’s men now play Southern Redbacks in Cowra next Saturday before taking on the Southern Stingrays at Batemans Bay in round three, games Pull says Western are more than capable of winning.

The best two teams out of the southern pool go on to play the best two sides in the championship’s northern section.

WESTERN RAMS 22 (David White, Jack Isedale, Josh Board, Matt Burton tries; Matt Burton 3 goals) def BIDGEE BULLS 18 (Tomasi Baravilala, James Howse, Griffin Pinney tries, Billy McGovern 3 goals).

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Brakes on Mt Keira planAttending one of the Council focus groups on Mt Keira summit, I was surprised to find that many of the ideas we were being asked to comment on seem to already have been assumed to have merit by Destination Wollongong in their document “Mt Keira Adventure Playground”.

Zip-lining and mountain bikes are on the cover page, the Grand Canyon and Whistler Blackcomb are described for inspiration, and land management issues are listed as a “barrier to development”.

Let’s keep the hoopla contained while we think this through properly or else we might end up with a world class white elephant.

_Stephen Young, Thirroul

Taxing questionsNSW State government complains about lack of funding for hospitals and a request they levy income taxes.

They should ask why was the State lotteries sold as it was set up to fund Hospital services.

Andif taxing each every individual 2.5 per cent of their pre-tax earnings through payroll tax is not an income tax on a person’s income than what is it?

_Ian Young, East Corrimal

Frustration in the worksI am writing this letter to vent my frustration at the night roadworks on Windang Bridge recently.

I had initially come to dead stop at 8.41pm, there were two sets of traffic lights ahead, 3 lanes merging to one.

It took me 45 minutes to get over the bridge, (which was always in full view in front of me).

Why were the lights which were controlling the roadworks set at such short intervals for the traffic heading to Shellharbour?

Why were the lanes not merged much earlier?

Aware bridge work was happening I allowed an extra 30 minutes to travel to my night job.

I feel Platinum Road services the operators directing traffic were totally inept in moving the traffic flow.

I had been caught in this last week and had to turn around as I was too late to attend my job.This is not the Sydney Harbour Bridge after all!

On my return (at red lights again) I had a Fire and rescue with lights and sirens behind me, I pulled over as best I could, as I was in a car with windows up, why did the traffic controllers not hear them earlier and make arrangements for them to get through?

On the other side of the road, (approximately half a kilometre from the bridge) there was a very serious looking four-car accident, where people were injured and lying on the footpath.

I understand the bridgework must be done, but can Platinum Road Services PLEASE improve their timing of the traffic lights.

_D McIntyre, Unanderra

US lead is‘dangerous’Professor of Strategic Studies Hugh White says, ‘’US reliance on aircraft carriers may prove costly’’(Mercury March 31). He adds they could be vulnerable in any future war and not achieve the strategic results that justify their cost.

The USA is ignoring the advice of experts and is planning to build a new class of 10 aircraft carriers the first will be the Gerald R Ford. Prof Hugh comments that “It’s awesome sight will be a revered symbol of US power but if it ever comes to a fight they prove to be a terrible waste of money”.

US expertadvice is they would be vulnerable in a war against China which has developed defence technologies that can “reliably find and sink US carriers anywhere within hundreds of kilometres off it’s coast”.

Abbott’s shirt-fronting policy towards China placed us at the centre ofthis insane, dangerous policy.It’s time that the government unglued us from it and developed an independent foreign policy.

_Reg Wilding, Wollongong

Better plan?: Roadworks on Windang Bridge had motorists frustrated. Timing of the traffic lights was identified as an issue for one Mercury reader.

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Harrow-Balmoral get first victory

STAND OUT: Roo Eric Guthrie kicked seven goals on Saturday.

EDENHOPE-APSLEY has handed a reality check during its big 90 point loss against Harrow-Balmoral on Saturday.

The game at Edenhope saw the Roos blow the Saints away during the second and third quarters.

Four goals down at the first break, the Saints were already off the pace.

Harrow-Balmoral then scored seven goals to none in the second to effectively end the match.

Eric Guthrie was impressive in the first round clash, booting seven goals in a best on ground performance.

Will Plush and James Staude added each, while a further eight Roos scored one each in a strong team performance.

Newly appointed assistant coach Jason McIntosh was also good, along with Callum Hobbs.

That Saints had no multiple goal kickers, but James Kirby and Matt Butler had stand out games for their first appearance at their new club.

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Cardiff off the mark with derby victory

CARDIFF opened their winning account with a 17-point victoryin the Black Diamond AFL derby against Warners Bay atFeighan Park on Saturday.

Scores were tight throughout the first threequarters, with Cardiff leading by 12, seven and four points at the three intervals, before prevailing 12.6 (78) to 9.7 (61).

The Hawks pulled away in the last quarter, kicking 3.1, whilea stout defensive effort held Warners Bay to one straight goal in the final stanza.

Josh Murphy kicked a decisive four goals for Cardiff, supported by two goals fromboth Jackson McMahon and Beau Heeney.

Jake Roach was the only multiple goalkicker for the Bulldogs with two.

Warners Bay are at home for a third successive game this weekend whenthey host in-form Newcastle City, and Cardiff head to Tukalba Park in Teralba to host reigning premiers Terrigal Avoca.

In other round-two games, Newcastle City scored a resounding winat Dick Burwell Oval in Nelson Bay, and Terrigal overran a fast-starting Killarney Vale at the revamped Hylton Moore Oval in East Gosford.

Mitchell Crawford starred up front with nine majors in City’s24.18 (162) to 6.6 (42) thumping of Nelson Bay.

He was ably assisted by club stalwart Courtney Knight, who kicked five for the Navy Blues in their dominant performance.

City jumped out of the blocks, kicking 6.3 in the first quarter to the Marlins’ 3.3. City then kept Nelson Bay to a solitary point in the second quarter, setting up their 20-goal victory.

In the match of the round, Terrigal Avoca outclassed Killarney Vale 18.13 (121) to 7.2 (44).

Alexander White (five) and Brayden Kingston (three) were the leading goalscorers for Terrigal.

Robertson reserve ladies struggle

Bec Wilson chases after the ball for Robertson. Photo by Lauren StrodeFOOTBALL

IT WAS a tough match for Robertson’s reserve grade ladies on the weekend.

Up against a young and enthusiastic Crookwell team, the Highlands side went down 6-0.

Robertson coach Damien plain said with a new, young team, he was not sure what to expect from many of the players but was pleased that they never gave up.

“For a first hit out I would have to say we did ok but there’s plenty of room for improvement,” he said.

Plain said Karlee Dent-Richardson was a standout in her first game of soccer.

“I was impressed with her attitude to the game and with her ability.”

This weekend Robertson will again play Crookwell in the opening round of the Highlands competition.

“There’s a bit of promise in the team yetwhen we get to play together and start to gel,” Plain said.

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Moss Vale celebrates victory

Jade Esquilant and Pippi Martin race to get to the ball. Photo by Lauren StrodeFOOTBALL

MOSS VALE bounced back from last week’s Noelene Munro Cup match loss to defeat Bundanoon on Saturday.

It was Bundanoon’s first match of the year for 2016.

Moss Vale coach Bill Smillie was pleased with the result after going down to Yerrinbool the week before.

“We worked on our structure a bit more, we finished well and we put in place some positional changes that worked well,” he said.

“We needed to win and we did.”

With a few players unavailable for Saturday’s match, Smillie said some of the under-15 girls stepped up and played well.

Jennifer Menzies scored her first goal, while Kate Defina and Beth Smillie were also among the goal scorers.

Smillie said Helen Maddock, a new player to the club, was solid in the middle of the park and Ali Pugh also did well at sweeper.

While Bundanoon did not manage to find the back of the net, Smillie said they had played well and expected them to become a strong team in the coming weeks.

Bundanoon coach John Sant said with a few new players in the team and a few returning from time off, Saturday’s match was a “learning experience” for his side.

“They got better as the game went on and that’s all you can ask as a coach,” he said

“It was the first game that we’ve played and we’ve only been training for a couple of weeks.”

Bundanoon had a few players out for Saturday’s match and will face Robertson this weekend at Yerrinbool. “We’ll keep improving each week and with more training we’ll get there,” Sant said.

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Hill Top too good for understrength Robbo

Hill Top’s Chris Heathcote tries to protect the ball as a Robertson defender comes in. Photo by Lauren StrodeFOOTBALL

WITH just nine players on the field, Robertson didn’t have much of a chance against Hill Top in the Liberale Trophy match.

The final score was 8-1 to Hill Top.

Martin Lowe (three), Nathan Bishop (two), Chris Heathcote, Shane Cavill and Mark Burke all scored goals for Hill Top.

Captain Scott Reece said he was pleased with the team’s second half performance.

“In the first half we tried to do too much with the ball,” he said.

Reece said his side improved on its ball attention, first touch and playing simple football in the second half.

‘The important thing in football is the ball. If you haven’t got it then you’re in a lot of trouble,” he said,

Reece said Lowe had a good game in the forwards and Adam Wykes played well at the back.

“We’re improving and if we can maintain the ball attention and simple passing we’ll be a strong team this season.”

Robertson skipper Damien Plain said his side never went into Saturday’s match with a win in mind.

“We tried to make sure we just had a bit of fun,” he said.

‘If we had 11 players we probably would have been competitive. Hill Top played well and were a good sport about the while thing.”

Daniel Freere scored the goal for Robertson.

Plain said Rob Berman played well at the back and Chris Hudd had a good game.

This weekend, the two teams will play each other again in round one of the Highlands competition.

Reece said Hill Top would expect a much tougher match with Robertson expected to field a full team for Saturday’s match.

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Western’s under-18s Farr and away too good: Blayney fullback stars in big win

ON THE DOUBLE: Blayney fullback Lachie Farr is congratulated after scoring one of his two tries in Western’s big win over Bidgee. Photo: PETER CLARKERUGBY LEAGUE

DOUBLES to Blayney gun Lachie Farr and Forbes three-quarter Mitch Andrews helped Western claim an emphatic 44-26 win over Bidgee on Saturday.

In the opening round of the 2016 under-18 AAMI Country Championships, the Rams raced to an early 14-0 lead before Bidgee clawed back to 14-10 until a further five four-pointers secured Cameron Greenhalgh’s side a strong first-up victory at West Wyalong.

After impressing with trial wins over St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown and two Penrith Panthers development teams, Western began its championship campaign in scintillating fashion thanks to tries to Parkes back-rower Darby Medlyn and Cowra speedster Callum Clyburn.

Forbes goal-kicking winger Warren Baxter booted the first but missed the second conversion from the chalk to nudge the Rams’ lead to 10-0 after just seven minutes.

It was then 14-0 after 12 minutes when Mitch Andrews crossed for his first before Bidgee hit back with two quick-fire four pointers of their own to reduce the deficit to 14-10.

That was as close as the Bulls would get.

The first of Farr’s two tries three minutes from half-time, Joseph Dwyer’s four-pointer and then Farr’s second try – all in the space of 10 minutes – effectively sealed the result, with Baxter nailing all three conversion attempts to bump the Rams out to a 32-10 game-winning advantage.

Running out 44-26 victors, Western is now in the box seat to secure a top-two place in the championship’s southern pool and a semi-final spot.

WESTERN RAMS 44 (Lachlan Farr 2, Mitch Andrews 2, Darby Medlyn, Callum Clyburn, Joseph Dwyer, Izaac Scott tries; Warren Baxter 6 goals) def BIDGEE BULLS 26.

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Transgender person refused haircutpoll

FURIOUS: Billy Newman is calling for greater acceptance of the transgender community after being denied a haircut by a Raymond Terrace barber. Picture: Ellie-Marie WattsA TRANSGENDER person refused a haircut from a Raymond Terrace barber is using the experience to call for greater acceptance of those battling with their gender identity.

Billy Newman, who recently moved from Tamworth to work in Raymond Terrace, was born a female but identifies as male.

After 29 years of struggling with his gender identity and sexuality, Billy decided four months ago to start the female-to-male transition.

While only deciding to begin the transition process in January, which will include Billy taking testosterone, having his breasts removed and in years to come genital surgery, he has always had male characteristics.

Billy acts like a man, dresses like a man and wears a binder to flatten his chest. While living in Tamworth Billy went to a barber to have his haircut so he thought nothing of walking into Get It Off Men’s Barber Shop in William Street for a trim on Tuesday, April 5.

“I asked how much for short back and sides [haircut] and the girl said they couldn’t do it because they don’t cut women’s hair,” Billy said.

It was the first negative experience Billy has faced since deciding to begin the female-to-male transition and it made him “furious”.

“It kind of blew me away,” Billy said. “I yelled at her that it was discrimination; I was furious.”

Get It Off Men’s Barber Shop owner Trudi, who at the time had been working at the back of the store, said she was only alerted to a problem when she heard raised voices at the front.

When she walked from the back of the shop to the front, Billy had already left.

“I had no idea what was happening,” Trudi said. “I was told that she [Billy] came in and was very rude. She asked the girl how much for a short back and sides.

“This girl was only young. She could see [Billy] had boobs and said we don’t cut ladies hair here. She [Billy] didn’t explain anything. We only do men’s hair here. We’re a men’s barber shop.

“If men come in and see women getting their hair cut, they’ll walk out because they know women’s hair takes so much longer. If this person had of explained instead of blowing up at my girl, I could have come out and would have considered it [haircut] if she explained.”

Billy is using the experience to call for greater awareness and acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

“The world is starting to talk about gender and transgender people more, but it needs to be addressed further,” Billy said.

“I don’t understand why people can’t make exceptions to their rules for transgender people. Everyone is different; we are not all the same so we shouldn’t all be treated the same.”

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