2 October 2021

“You are never too young, and you know your body better than anyone. If you are experiencing unusual bowel symptoms get yourself checked out quickly. It might just save your life as it did mine.”

Caroline was diagnosed with what was eventually determined as Stage 4 ‘resected’ bowel cancer at the age of 31 in early 2009.

“My journey towards my diagnosis is unfortunately not unusual for someone my age – ‘you’re too young for bowel cancer’, ‘sounds like a case of irritable bowel’ or ‘I suspect its haemorrhoids’ were common responses I would get after detailing my symptoms.

Both my GP and gastroenterologist were convinced it was nothing more than a run of the mill bowel issue which would be easily treatable.

After 3 or so months of treating my condition for haemorrhoids – as first diagnosed by my GP after a rectal exam – I knew something was clearly not right.

As the daughter of a pharmacist, I was certainly not averse to trying every pharmaceutical treatment available but nothing in my drug arsenal or nightly warm baths would stop the constipation or evidence of bleeding.

When I eventually returned to my GP, I demanded to see a specialist and within a few weeks I was booked in for a colonoscopy the results of which were 11 tumours discovered in my lower bowel.

I was promptly booked in to see a colorectal surgeon first thing the next morning and within two weeks, I underwent an operation to remove 25cm of my bowel.”

You can read Caroline’s full story here.

We met Caroline through her workplace, TerryWhite Chemmart and we are proud to have them join us as part of our ‘Trust Your Gut’ campaign.

Throughout October, TerryWhite Chemmart is helping us amplify our important messages around acting on symptoms through info and messages online and in stores.
We thank Caroline for sharing her story and TerryWhite Chemmart for their support.