When I was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer I was 61 years old, fit and healthy (at least I thought I was). I was working in the entertainment industry with a part time job as a spruiker (sales motivator) and also did freelance work in the entertainment industry as a DJ/MC for various events.
Approximately 6 years ago, during a prostate check at the local GP, my doctor found a mass on my appendix, protruding into my bowel, fortunately this was benign, however I still required a resection to the right side of my large bowel.
I was first diagnosed with a hernia, which seemed to explain the changes in my bowel habits and the stomach pains I had been experiencing.
When Maureen received a screening kit in the mail just after her 55th birthday, she had no reservations about doing the test.
“It was just too simple not to do. The test was hygienic, quick to complete and extremely straight-forward,” she said.
Just as well, because ultimately this unusual birthday present saved her life. When the test returned a positive result, Maureen was not overly concerned as she had read in the accompanying booklet that the presence of blood may be due to conditions other than cancer.
“It’s an unusual birthday present, but it is probably the best gift I have received.”
Ian, a retired merchant seaman, never thought the simple act of emptying his post box would ultimately save his life.
At 65, Ian, like many Australians, was unaware the risk of developing bowel cancer increased with age. He was physically fit and believed he was in good health. As an active fisherman determined to make the most of his retirement, bowel cancer was the last thing on Ian’s mind.