This week I have something a bit different to share.
(This blog is not designed to scare you, this is simply passing on information. Knowledge is power)
I’ve been really inspired to re-share an important project and message of someone I follow on instagram.
Some of my readers may well follow Beth, Bowel Warrior too. Beth is someone putting her awful experience to good use. She’s utterly brilliant raising awareness of this god awful disease and with this recent campaign she’s really bringing young age diagnosis into the fore.
I follow some pretty impressive and inspirational men and women on social media putting their experience out there to help others. So many amazing people that are sharing their stories in attempt to save others the distress and trauma of late diagnosis. These people are my heroes.
Beth is one of them, she has been avidly highlighting the simple fact that bowel cancer diagnosis in the under 50s is on the rise.
Beth has been putting together collages of people under 50, and most are under 40 that have been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
So far Beth has produced collages of 108 people who were diagnosed, that’s just people she’s met through insta etc. Just imagine how many there actually are out there.
I imagine most of them like myself were told not to worry about the obvious signs of bowel cancer because they were “too young” to get it.
It drives me to distraction to hear it time and time again.
I heard from someone the other day that a friend of their’s 14 year old daughter was diagnosed with bowel cancer some years ago. But she had been misdiagnosed with IBS because she was too young for cancer....ffs, yes, 14 is ridiculously young to get bowel cancer I agree but if the poor kid had all the symptoms of bowel cancer then for heavens sakes test, test and test!!
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then guess what! It’s quite possibly a duck!!
All of this too young business is bullshit! If you have cells in your body you can get cancer, it’s pretty simple.
Quite honestly if you’ve got symptoms of anything that’s causing you worry then I would say push on and insist on further tests.
Although it’s unlikely you’d have cancer, it is on the rise in the under 50s and therefore better to be safe than sorry.
It’s scares the living daylights out of me that still, 9 and half years after my eventual diagnosis people are still being misdiagnosed, still being poo pooed by GP’s and still dying unnecessarily of this shitty disease.
It’s also very important to point out that these people were fit, active and ate healthily.
Bowel cancer is often blamed on poor lifestyle but that’s a crock of ****e too!!
I was fit, active, healthy diet and felt fantastic apart from the bleeding and crippling pain up my....well you know where.
I can assure you cancer doesn’t discriminate like humans tend to, it’s very much an equal opportunist. It really doesn’t mind either way. You could eat kale and wheat grass till the cows come home but you can still get bowel cancer. Simple fact.
I haven’t eaten red meat (nope, none, no ‘cancer causing bacon, sausages or hams’ or anything nasty) no fast food has crossed my lips for 25 years plus.
I have only eaten fish, chicken but mostly veggie for well over 25 years.
The world of fast food chains is alien to me, so much so that I was like a recently landed alien when I was in a service station on the way to Bicester village a few months back when I saw these electronic interactive ordering boards in a certain burger restaurant. I rang my kids and told them about it I was so fascinated...apparently this is how one orders fast food these days. Hahahahaha
I do like a nice bit of cake (I’m only human after all) but I didn’t eat processed junk.
The food we eat may play a part in some people’s diagnosis, but it didn’t in mine or for the 108 people Beth has spoken to.
The only thing we can do is be vigilant and be our own GP. We have far more to lose than the person sitting behind the desk telling us we’re too young for cancer....as we sit there with every symptom and more.
We have to be vigilant! We have to keep records and we HAVE to insist on further checks.
Thank you so much Beth for working on putting this together. It makes for a very insightful and informative picture (literally) of what bowel cancer really looks like.
It’s no longer a disease of the elderly. It can be but not necessarily, I was 36 when I was eventually diagnosed, look at the ages in Beth’s photo collages, there’s 108 so far that were young fit and active.
The only reason it’s swept under the carpets of life is because us humans have weird ideas that poo, bums, bowels and bowel problems are to be hushed up and not discussed in polite company. But I’m afraid that sort of attitude is killing people.
I think the best gift we can give each other is to speak our truths and speak them loudly so other people don’t end up this far down the line. Early diagnosis is the key to survival.
I was really really really really lucky.
I was misdiagnosed for about 10 years, in that time my ONE pesky little polyp was able to progress unchecked until it became a tumour, and by the time of diagnosis a rather large tumour, I was stage 3, but this is where I got really very lucky, I had a kind of bowel cancer usually found in the elderly, these cancers tend to be slower growing.
The younger you get cancer the more aggressive they tend to be. Which means I won the lottery a million times over by getting old lady cancer in a young ladies body.
Please please please do yourself and your friends and family a favour, clue yourself up on symptoms and if you want to be extra caring might I suggest a stool sample testing kit as pressie for loved ones.
Say it with poo (samples)....
I simply googled home testing kits and found quite a few, go for the one with the best reviews and give yourself or someone you love peace of mind.
Bowel cancer is easily treatable if found early enough.
I’m very lucky, others haven’t been so.
Please check yourself. If it’s not right then insist, beg for tests if you have to. In all likelihood you’ll be fine, but blood in stools certainly indicates something’s not right. It could be any number of IBD’s or even the very popular IBS, but it does need confirming.
Be well. xx
(*Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
(*Irritable Bowel Syndrome)