Mum shares her bowel cancer story

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Have you been affected by bowel cancer, either personally or through someone you know?

The UK’s leading bowel cancer research charity Bowel Cancer UK is looking for more people to join its team of trained volunteer speakers giving talks in their local area.

The talks, which can be held in workplaces, community groups or anywhere an existing group comes together, provide an ideal way to raise awareness of the disease and encourage good bowel health.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, with 16,200 people dying from the disease every year. But it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer, but this drops significantly as the disease develops.

Bowel Cancer UK received an award last year from the Royal Society of Public Healthfor its health promotion work.

Many of its trained volunteers have personal experience of the cancer.

Marion Leslie, from Milton Keynes, said: “The reason I became a volunteer was because my daughter Natalie was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer three weeks before her 30th birthday. She underwent nearly two years of gruelling palliative chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.

“She sadly died five weeks prior to her 32nd birthday.”

“I would like to raise awareness of this terrible cancer, particularly in young people, as I feel my daughter was not taken seriously by her GP and should have been referred earlier for diagnostic testing.

“I think she was fobbed off as she didn’t look ill despite her symptoms and because she was young.

“I would not want any parent relative or friend to experience this devastating cancer, and hope that I may be able to help prevent this happening to anyone else, by raising awareness through my talks to the general public.”

For more information, visit the Bowel Cancer UK website.