“I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 45, after experiencing intermittent rectal bleeding and stomach pain for 12 months. I largely ignored the stomach cramps, due to an earlier diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) many years previously, but once I went to my GP, I was referred immediately.
Fortunately, my cancer was discovered early, a Dukes A (Stage 1) tumour, meaning that it had not spread and I didn’t need follow-up chemotherapy. I spent some time at home recovering from keyhole surgery to remove the cancer from my colon. I was supported very well by my family and I started a phased return to my work as a surveyor just a few months later.
This has been a wake-up call for me and I’ve become more health conscious – especially with regards to diet. Since my diagnosis I’ve not been embarrassed to talk about bowels and to make people more aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer.”