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Milly's bowel cancer story (mother diagnosed age 55, VIC)

I believe it is important for all of us to fight to be healthy. After experiencing years of diarrhoea and stomach pain, Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer at age 55.

After a urinary infection that persisted, Mum’s doctor suggested an ultrasound where ‘masses’ were discovered on her bowels. She was then referred for an abdomen scan.

During the scan they found eight tumours, all too large to remove so they opted to start Mum on oral chemotherapy to see if they could reduce the size of the tumours, and then possibly look at surgery.

After taking the oral chemotherapy for a few weeks, Mum was becoming increasingly ill, and she decided she no longer wanted to take them, which as a family we could understand.

My parents were told they were not able to perform any surgery so they flew to their home country in Serbia and sought a second opinion. Surgeons there attempted to perform surgery, but they also realised the cancer was too extensive to remove.

Mum passed away at the age of 57.

If there is anything I wish we could have changed, it would have been Mum’s diet. She really loved her meat and continued to eat cured meat until the day she died. After doing more research into diet and bowel cancer, it has become pretty clear to me that people can help themselves in preventing these types of cancers by eating a clean diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables.