I Read About It On The Internet

Well, after that kop out for my last entry, I thought I had better write something. Many thanks to Hannah (@sitemanagergal) for allowing me to hijack her blog, even without her permission. Hannah is a bowel cancer survivor, having just recently received the first ‘all clear’ since her diagnosis at the beginning of 2011. She was diagnosed at the age of 27, which shows that bowel cancer can affect anyone of any age, and it’s never too young to be aware of the symptoms. Bowel cancer rates in the under 30’s have increased 120% over the last decade ! Shocking isn’t it. Hannah’s blog is both frank and funny. Her account of her cancer journey is, at times traumatic, and her honesty admirable. I hope you will join me in wishing her well, and that her recovery continues.

I am well aware that my continuous talk of bowel cancer can have a negative effect on some people. I can read between the lines “oh no not him again….. Going on about cancer again…..why doesn’t he shut up about it”. Despite this I continue, maybe something will stick in the back of somebody’s mind that might just save their life. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, yet if diagnosed early, 90% of cases can be treated successfully. Therein lies the problem- early diagnosis. We have to get people to see their GP’s at the earliest sign of concern. This has been recognised by the Department of Health, resulting in he launch of their ‘Be Clear On Cancer’ campaign which will run from 30th January to the end of March.

The ‘Be Clear On Cancer’ campaign is significant in as much as it is the result of a u-turn by the government. One of the first things the coalition government announced when formed was the cancellation on spending on all government sponsored advertising campaigns. Did you notice, no Flu campaign this winter, no anti smoking adverts ? A pilot scheme, to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, in two areas of the UK resulted in a 48% increase in the number of patients who visited their GP with relevant symptoms. Statistics like that can’t be ignored, and thankfully they weren’t. Advertising will appear on national TV, radio and press, you’ll see adverts on buses, and events will be taking place across the country to increase awareness. So if you’ve been thinking, now is the time to see your GP. All surgeries across the country have been briefed, NHS trusts , in particular colonoscopy units have been prepared for the increase in referrals, and additional funding has been made available. The campaign is being run in conjunction with Bowel Cancer UK, who will be supporting GP’s and practices throughout the campaign.

click on logo for more information

Bowel Cancer UK is another great charity working to reduce the number of deaths from bowel cancer and raise awareness.

My bravado is diminishing as Friday approaches. I have to admit to myself that I’m becoming anxious about my forthcoming scans. This is totally ridiculous of course, because Friday is insignificant, it’s the results, probably a week or so later, and subsequent meeting with the surgeon that will define the course of treatment over the coming months. I’m more concerned with the ‘lesions’ on my lung and liver than the tumour itself. I’m pretty confident that the radiotherapy did it’s job on the tumour. The internet is of course to blame for my anxiety. I am reading both positive and negative accounts of patients with my type of cancer. From the lady who’s cancer has spread to such and extent that the outlook is now very grim, to the patient who’s radiotherapy was so successful that doctors are now considering cancelling the operation to remove the tumour that is no longer there. Once again, it’s ridiculous, it’s my bloody cancer and it will behave in the way it wants to (although I am secretly hoping the tumour has disappeared). I am immediately reminded of the poor woman who was speaking on the radio earlier today. She was misdiagnosed for 2 years before bowel cancer was correctly diagnosed. She began her account by recalling how she had approached her GP with the words “I’ve looked up my symptoms on the internet”, these have to be the worst words you could ever use when speaking to a GP, guaranteed to get their back up. Their immediate reaction, and possibly justified, is that they did 7 years at medical school and training to gain their knowledge, and so what do you know from 5 minutes on the internet? This in no way explains the inexcusable misdiagnosis of the woman who presented with classic bowel cancer symptoms, but it might be a lesson to us all, even if we did look it up on the internet.


If you have any concerns about bowel cancer, or just want more information or check cancer rates in your area you can find all the information advice and help you need here. www.beatingbowelcancer.org



This entry was posted in Be Clear On Cancer, Be Loud Be Clear, Beating Bowel Cancer, Bowel Cancer, Bowel Cancer UK, Cancer, charities, Health, Manchester, Oldham, radiotherapy, Saddleworth, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I Read About It On The Internet

  1. Deborah says:

    This…..”I am well aware that my continuous talk of bowel cancer can have a negative effect on some people. I can read between the lines “oh no not him again…” ” is just not true, for me anyway, you keep on doing what you are doing Chris.

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