"My beloved brother Rob was diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 bowel cancer in October 2017, just before his 44th birthday. His was diagnosed with the disease after having an unusual pain in his abdomen, which led to urgent CT scans. Rob had surgery and chemotherapy, and sadly lost his life in June 2018, 8 months after diagnosis."
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) describes disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
Chronic inflammation can cause continuous turnover of cells in the intestinal lining.
As cells ‘turnover’, old cells are replaced with new cells.
Each time cells turnover, the risk of irregularities that may lead to bowel cancer increases.
As a result, people living with IBD are considered to be at a higher risk of developing bowel cancer approximately 8 to 10 years after they first start experiencing inflammation of the gut.
“Imagine a roller coaster,” said Dr Peter Harvey, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust in a presentation he gave titled ‘After the Treatment Finishes – Then What?’
“Some of you will find this an exciting and thrilling image; others of you – like – me – will find it terrifying and beyond belief that anyone in their right mind would willingly subject themselves to the torment of being transported a high speed and with great discomfort in this manner.”
“However, I have chosen this image to represent the process of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer."
How a person reacts and responds to a cancer diagnosis can range from shock and sadness to denial or despair.
Coping with such a life-changing event is never easy, but there are things family and friends can do to support a loved one who has been told they have bowel cancer.
Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Fiona shares 12 easy ways you can show a friend or loved one with bowel cancer that you are truly there for them in their time of need.