BOTTOMS, poo and bowels are by no means popular topics of conversation.
However, Stockton resident Leslie Jenkins wants people to talk about them.
For four years Mrs Jenkins has fought bowel cancer.
Her journey has allowed her to grow familiar with discussing issues of a personal nature.
She is hoping that she can spread the message that conversations about the bowel and its movements do not have to be shunned.
After noticing the different array of support groups available for people with "sexy cancers" (such as breast and prostate cancer), Mrs Jenkins dedicated her life to ensure that the daily challenges of those suffering bowel cancer would not go unheard.
With help from the Hunter branch of the Cancer Council and a friend who also had bowel cancer, a monthly meeting was established - with more people attending each time.
"Cancer doesn't have to mean life stops," she said.
"That's what the meeting is here to show - there are people who care and will listen and support you through the challenges."
Mrs Jenkins, who still has the cancer, continues to play hockey and tennis regularly and will be going on a number of overseas holidays in the not too distant future.
"The thing to remember is that even though I still have cancer I still make sure I live my life to the fullest," she said.
"You need to have hope."
In Australia, 12,500 new cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed each year, and the disease kills up to 80 Australians each week, according to Cancer Council NSW statistics.
■ The Bowel Cancer Support Group meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Landmark building, 215 Pacific Highway, Charlestown at 9.30am. Cancer patients, family, friends and carers of those affected are invited to attend. For more information, phone 4928 1402.