I was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in Jan 2021. I underwent a routine resection with a temporary stoma followed by 6 months chemo. I spent most of those 6 months in hospital with chemo side effects. Currently NED.

My concern was that I first presented in Emergency with severe gastro symptoms which were becoming all too frequent. They decided to do an endoscopy and found nothing. I requested a number of times that I have a colonoscopy but the doctors said I did not have enough symptoms to warrant this procedure.

After a couple of months, it was still playing on my mind so I ended up inventing symptoms to get a colonoscopy and that’s when my cancer was found. I had done regular self tests sent out and these always were negative including the one a few months before my cancer was found.

I think regular screening should happen much earlier for the many younger people diagnosed with bowel cancer. I feel there needs to be more publicity and earlier screening for bowel cancer.