At 33 years of age I had never considered screening until my employer Northline kindly footed the bill for all employees to take the screening test through The Jodi Lee Foundation’s workplace screening program.
Nick Lee came to talk to us about the Foundation and it was very moving and inspiring. I decided I would take the test simply because it was offered, and with the sudden passing of my dad and my mum’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s I also thought to myself, this is something I can take control of.
I took the test within days of receiving it and sent it away. Only 3 or 4 days later my GP rang to ask me to book an appointment to discuss the results. My test was positive for blood. I had no other symptoms but decided to go to the specialist just in case.
He was very surprised I had come to see him considering my age and the fact I had no other symptoms. It was decided however that the only way to be 100% sure it was nothing sinister was to have a colonoscopy. The doctor told me there was a 3% chance of finding something.
When I walked back into the consulting room after procedure the first thing he said is, ‘well, you were in that 3%’. He was very surprised. Three polyps had been removed, including one that was 1cm in diameter, which he told me was very unusual for my age. He said if they were not found I would have had bowel cancer in 5-10 years.
This very simple test potentially saved my life.