I thought I had work stress and a gluten intolerance as I had been experiencing bloating and digestive discomfort for a couple of months. That was until I left work one Tuesday and ended up in hospital!

Thanks to a thorough ED doctor I underwent a CT scan and they found a tumour on my large bowel. I was scheduled for a left and subtotal helicolectomy and had 41cms of my colon containing the tumour removed 2 weeks later.

The recovery wasn’t easy as they were unable to operate laparoscopically, but once I was up and walking it progressed pretty quickly. I credit my trainer (who worked with a women’s health EP to create a specific program) with my return to regular activity as well as my brilliant surgical team of course!

It’s 6 months since I ended up in hospital and it still blows my mind as I had no real symptoms. No bleeding, no weight loss, not within the age range for testing - just the bloating and digestive issues. I know how lucky I am it was investigated as my blood tests that night were normal and I had had a full health review only 4 months before and that was all fine. As it was caught early, I only needed surgery and will now go onto regular monitoring for five years.

My advice for others would be the importance of post-surgical dietary advice and exercise for recovery. And screening age should be reduced to 45.