Bowel Cancer Stories

A change of diet is what Darren's specialist advised him to undertake, despite a decade of unusual bowel habits and bleeding.
After so many years living with unusual bowel habits, I had come to think of it as pretty normal. I did go to see a specialist early on who examined me but just told me I needed to change my diet.

Life was great. I was fit and active, looking forward to the Melbourne Cup long weekend when to make things even better it was made official that I had been given my dream job - perfect!

I didn’t play cricket that weekend as I hadn’t trained because I didn’t feel up to it, and after the usual washouts and byes at the start of the season I couldn’t really get too motivated. Every time I trained I struggled but that’s what happens when you hit 41 years of age and you try to keep up with teenagers and fit tradies.


I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1993 at the age of 47.  I had taken a Rotary Bowelscan test (FOBT) and, when it returned a positive result in May, my GP referred me to a specialist.  I was given a colonoscopy in June and told I had a 10 per cent chance of having cancer… turns out, I was in that unlucky 10 per cent!  In July I had a bowel resection.  Looking back, it all happened so quickly.

I felt I coped really well with the cancer at the time but I experienced more problems about seven years later.  I suffered depression and was forced into medical retirement due to poor bowel control, all of which coincided with my father’s death.  I think I just bottled up all my emotions, and it wasn’t until I finally saw my GP that I was encouraged to talk about my experiences.


I was diagnosed with bowel cancer (first stage) at the age of 51 as a result of a routine check-up with my GP. Previously I had no symptoms or warning signs of the cancer. During a check-up with my GP I asked about the Government Screening Kit which I had received but ignored. My GP handed me another kit and recommended I do it. I undertook the stool test which came back positive.

My GP recommended I have a colonoscopy as soon as possible - it was booked and undertaken two weeks later. Three weeks later I went in for surgery and had 10-15 cm of my lower bowel removed.


On 24 January 2010, The Sunday Mail in Queensland ran an article on celebrity health; I was going to turn the page until I saw Lara Bingle in a bikini!

Being a true Aussie bloke, I decided the article needed a closer look and found myself reading a genuinely interesting story.  

In 2004, I had experienced a serious change in bowel habits and occasional stomach pains but, like many, I just put it down to work stress. I would also feel very tired and shaky and get the sweats after only a couple of hours work in the garden.
Page 10 of 44
Banner Bowel Cancer Australia Helpline
Support Bowel Cancer Australia
Bowel Cancer Australia Bowel Cancer App
Bowel Cancer Australia Social Media