I was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in my 30s: This is the habit that saved my life – and the warning I want everyone to read
- Man urges everyone to ‘check their poo’
- He has stage four bowel cancer at 38
- READ MORE: I had colon cancer at 27. These are the symptoms to watch out for
A sports-mad school teacher has urged all Australians young and old to ‘check their poo’ after being diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer at 38.
The teacher revealed he had noticed blood in the toilet for a few weeks before going to the doctor to get it checked out.
A colonoscopy revealed a huge cancerous growth which almost obstructed the young man’s bowels.
‘This is a public service announcement to check your poop every few days. You don’t have to touch it but just make sure it has no traces of blood and is looking OK,’ the man, from Newcastle, New South Wales, wrote in a post on Reddit.
He added that the cancer is often slow-growing which makes doctors think he has had it for over a decade.
A sports-mad school teacher has urged all Australians young and old to ‘check their poo’ after being diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer at 38 (stock image)
Despite the growth forming over such a long period of time he said he only noticed blood for the first time in May this year.
‘Blood in poo doesn’t always mean cancer. People with IBS and chronic conditions like colitis or Crohn’s get bloody stools regularly,’ he said.
‘Also hemorrhoids are quite common for causing blood in poops. It is still worth getting a colonoscopy to ensure you know what it is.’
Before his colonoscopy doctors revealed they were 99 per cent sure he just had ulcerative colitis so the cancer diagnosis came as an even bigger shock.
The teacher didn’t mention anything about pain or weight loss which can also be signs of the disease.
Hundreds of people commented on the post thanking him for reminding them to inspect their bowel habits more regularly.
‘There is some push for the bowel screening program to be dropped to 45, which would be a good. Colon cancer rates for under 50s is growing so this is a very important message,’ one man said.
Others said they have struggled to get tested despite pushing their GP for answers.
‘I have had multiple GP’s deny me getting a colonoscopy even though I have had blood in my stool for four years now. I am 47 so I am waiting for another three years so I can get tested,’ one man said.
The teacher admitted it is hard to get tested and even though his GP was on board it took three months on the waiting list before he could go into hospital.
‘I can’t afford a good GP I have to go to bulk billing ones and they just turn me away,’ another said.
READ MORE: I was young, fit and living an amazing life until I developed a common symptom – five days later I found out it was stage four bowel cancer
Eligible Australians aged 50 to 74 are mailed a free test done at home every 2 years but other people can buy tests at the pharmacy.
A 26-year-old also jumped in on the chat – agreeing with the teacher’s urgent suggestion.
‘I had blood in my poop and was diagnosed with stage three rectal cancer about six months ago. six months of chemotherapy and next thing that is up is to get 30cm of my intestines cut out to remove the tumour,’ they wrote.
‘I had two episodes of bloody diarrhea and got told I was too young to have cancer. It was a fight to get a colonoscopy and break the dogma that only old people get cancer.’
The teacher revealed he is lucky to have sick leave ‘built up’ so is off for the rest of the year while going through chemotherapy.
He also added he has no family history of the disease and that he had never had ‘anything go wrong’ with his body which is why he is still in disbelief.
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