Health conditions

Colorectal cancer

Approximately 1300 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Western Australia each year.

Colorectal cancer includes cancers of the:

  • colon (large bowel)
  • rectum
  • anus.

A number of these cancers will be diagnosed following a positive faecal occult blood test (FOBT) or following investigations for symptoms, such as:

  • bleeding from the back passage
  • a change in bowel habits
  • anaemia
  • tiredness
  • weight loss.

Following diagnosis you may receive multiple treatments, including:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation treatment.

This will involve seeing many specialists in a variety of settings over a period of approximately 6 to 12 months.

Helping you along your cancer journey

The Colorectal Cancer Nurse Coordination Service is a free statewide service available to any person with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer in WA.

Specialist colorectal cancer nurses are available to:

  • provide and explain information on your diagnosis and treatment
  • refer you to other health care professionals where and when appropriate, for example social work, stomal therapy nurse, psychosocial services
  • assist you and your family through treatment in all departments
  • coordinate your care to ensure timeliness of appointments and treatments
  • act as a central point of contact.

This service is available Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Specialist colorectal cancer nurses can be contacted on 0439 910 367.

More information

  • Cancer Council WA Helpline
    Phone: 13 11 20
    Provides, counselling, complementary therapies, support groups and financial assistance.
  • WA Psycho-Oncology Service
    Phone: 9382 7480
    A clinical psychology service that offers confidential, free counselling to patients and families living with cancer.
  • WA Ostomy Association
    Phone: 9272 1833
    Provides supplies for people with stomas. For information and advice please contact the stomal therapy department at your treating hospital.
  • Solaris Care
    Phone: 9346 7630
    Provides counselling and complementary therapies for cancer patients and their families.
  • Bowel Cancer Australia
    Phone: 1800 555 494
    Not-for-profit organisation that provides awareness, education, support and research for people with bowel cancer.


WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.