In August 2010 my life changed forever. Nothing can prepare you for a bowel cancer diagnosis at just 38 years old.
I had been given what I thought was a routine colonoscopy to investigate the cause of my iron deficiency, which my doctor thought was probably due to an ulcer. But as I lay in bed in the recovery room after being told they had found a tumour, I remember thinking: ‘I’m too young. I have a husband and two young boys. This can’t be happening to me’.
I was 28 when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in January 2011.
I’d had rectal bleeding, changed bowel habits and stomach pain for a while but had put off investigating the symptoms – I was living in China at the time so I figured it was either an intestinal infection that I couldn't seem to shake or a reaction to something I’d eaten.
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February 2010 at the age of 51. I was seeing a specialist at Toowoomba Hospital about my renal condition. He asked if there were any other health problems; I mentioned the blood in my stool, which I had seen off and on for the last six years. I didn’t think it that important, as I had had ulcerative colitis over the years. My GP did not think it was a concern.
Also I had recently done a FOBT test as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. It had returned a negative result.
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2011 after experiencing changes to my bowel habits over approximately 2 months, which was followed by abdominal pain. This led me to my GP who thought the stomach upsets were nothing serious so prescribed a reflux medication and sent me on my way.
I soon returned to my GP after experiencing rectal bleeding, when he then referred me for a faecal occult blood test immediately.
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 44 years old.
I went to see my GP after about twelve months of changed bowel habits and intermittent rectal bleeding, which I assumed was caused by haemorrhoids. The pain I had been experiencing on and off had become quite bad, so I wanted to talk to my GP about other treatment options. I was given a colonoscopy as part of this visit – and that’s when they discovered the tumour in my rectum.