In 2005, aged 53, I was living an active lifestyle with a healthy diet and 90 year old parents. Why would I even consider the possibility of colon cancer?

The changes in bowel habits were gradual but one day my wife finally persuaded me to organise a colonoscopy.  Tom, the surgeon carrying out the colonoscopy is a very good friend.

By the time I had woken from the sedative a very concerned Tom had booked me in to see a colorectal specialist the following week. He had discovered a large tumour, a small part of which was cancerous. Two weeks later I underwent major surgery to remove a section of my colon.

I was extremely lucky as no follow up treatment was necessary other than reversal of the temporary ileostomy, however there is a good chance that detection a few years earlier may have negated the need for surgery and months off work. The recovery time did, however, give me an opportunity to reassess what is important in life and made me determined to make the most of every day.

My experience also highlights how critical early diagnosis is and shows how important the work of The Jodi Lee Foundation is helping people catch colon cancer before it’s too late.

Thankfully all the subsequent colonoscopies have been clear. Love life!