As you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 at the age of 27. This was something up until this point, that I never thought I would be dealing with having been reassured by medical professionals that the symptoms I was having was down to IBS or “woman’s problems” fast forward to now I know that know one knows your body better than yourself and if there’s a persistent change then this is not normal and should always be checked!

Throughout my twenties I always had issues with my tummy bloating, constipation and pains. After a few times visiting the doctors I decided this was just something I would have to try and manage and so that’s what I did.

This was a regular occurrence so I started to try and cut out certain foods, take laxatives and try and manage what was going on to the best of my ability. 

In 2012 I got married and went on honeymoon and when I got back from my honeymoon, just a few days later I had a rectal prolapse. I was taken into hospital and had this put back in and was given an appointment for a colonoscopy. During the colonoscopy a tumour was found and after biopsies I found out it was cancerous and I would be undergoing surgery to have the tumour removed. I was told from looking at the tumour it had been growing for around 7/8 years and it started as a polyp.

I had the surgery to remove a section of bowel and have it reattached back together, not the start I imagined to married life and the start of a long journey to where I am today.

After my cancer diagnosis I noticed things that I now know where symptoms such as narrowing stools, tiredness and a noisy digestive system and although these can be many other things aside from bowel cancer, these where not normal for me. So my message has always been the same whilst raising awareness, you know your body better than anyone if there’s a change that’s persisting for over two weeks always get it checked out.

Other symptoms include bleeding from your back end, blood in your poo, a change in bowel habits constipation or diarrhoea, loosing weight without trying to, feeling tired all the time and not sure why and swelling or a lump in your tummy.

Please remember these symptoms may not always be bowel cancer and could be something else and that cancer does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter what your age, sex or race is we are all at risk and you should never be ashamed to go and get checked. 

Maryrose
@big_c_stomaandme

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