For me, earlier detection could have been the difference between a diagnosis of an earlier stage of bowel cancer, or potentially life and death.

I thought I was the last person to ever get bowel cancer, having been vegan for more than 5 years and alcohol free for 3. It took several months of rectal blood loss before I approached my GP.

A specialist performed a sigmoidoscopy where nothing was discovered and at the time my symptoms seemed to have resolved.

I was considered to be at low risk due to my age, so was advised to wait and see. A few months later the blood loss began again, so I booked in for a colonoscopy. In October 2013, at age 31, I was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer. The cancer was removed during surgery and I am currently undergoing chemotherapy.

Anyone is susceptible to bowel cancer and early detection is truly your best chance at beating it. Don’t ignore the symptoms.