I successfully beat prostate cancer in 2007 so being diagnosed with bowel cancer so soon after came as a real shock.
I did the Rotary bowel cancer test (FOBT) in March 2009 and the results were negative. But later that year, my bowel habits began to change – mainly increased urgency and frequency – and when I twice noticed blood in my stools I decided to take the FOBT again. This time the results were positive.
I was overseas when the results came through in April 2010 so I talked to my GP in Australia over the phone and he recommended that I see a GP in England as soon as possible.
Unlike many people, I had a lot of symptoms before I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
I saw my doctor many times about the ongoing pains in my stomach, back and bottom and the mucous in my bowel motions but was told I was probably suffering emotional strain or irritable bowel syndrome.
I was given blood tests but they never revealed anything significant. It felt like doctors gave me the run-around for nearly a year until I finally found one who took me seriously.
I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2007 at the age of 50.
I had been noticing changes in my bowel habits for some time but it wasn’t until my abdomen was severely distended and I lost the use of my bowels that I was admitted to hospital.
I was on holiday in Port Douglas at the time, so I was taken to Mossman Hospital.
On 24 January 2010, The Sunday Mail in Queensland ran an article on celebrity health; I was going to turn the page until I saw Lara Bingle in a bikini!
Being a true Aussie bloke, I decided the article needed a closer look and found myself reading a genuinely interesting story.
I’d had rectal bleeding and unusual bowel habits for six to eight weeks before going to see my GP in 2008. I was 60 at the time. My GP gave me an internal examination but found nothing. Nonetheless, he was insistent that I see a specialist and made the call while I sat in his surgery, getting me an appointment for the very next day.
I had a colonoscopy within the week and was diagnosed with stage III bowel cancer. I had a CT scan the next day, then an ultrasound for tumour staging.