From bricklaying one minute, to being in surgery the next, Christopher knows how lucky he is to tell people about his health scare today.
Christopher John Moorcroft, 61, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2022 after ignoring his signs and symptoms for several months. If it wasn’t for healthcare professionals at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, it could be a different story today.
The sixty-one-year-old found blood in his poo last year but never booked in with his GP because his wife was fighting a battle of breast cancer and didn’t want to add another worry to the family. After his wife had been given the all-clear, he knew he needed to get checked out.
Father of four and grandfather of six, had part of his left bowel removed and connected a month after his diagnosis, and thankfully is now cancer free – with ongoing chemotherapy as a precaution.
“As a family we were going through a hard time last year when my wife was diagnosis with cancer herself and I didn’t want to burden them with any more bad news. So, I ignored the blood in my poo which is a really stupid thing to do.
“I’m very lucky that I’m here now, because it could’ve been too late to have surgery, so please do not ignore any signs or symptoms because it could be a different story for you.” Said Chris.
“My youngest daughter has just moved to Australia, and I count my blessings that I was able to be here to watch her dreams come true, thanks to the staff at Walsall Healthcare.”
Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer with one person being diagnosed every 15 minutes in the UK – that’s nearly 43,000 each year. Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is recognised annually to raise awareness as it is easier to treat, if diagnosed early.
- The symptoms include:
- bleeding from your bottom and / or blood in your poo
- a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
- unexplained weight loss
- extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
- a pain or lump in your tummy
Ginny Hill, Colorectal/ Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Nurse Specialist, said: “Early diagnosis saves lives please check for changes in bowel habits and blood in your poo regularly.
“We strongly advise you to participate in national bowel screening; a kit will be sent in the post if you are eligible and return it as soon as you can.
“Blood is not always visible, and this is why screening is important. Early diagnosis can lead to better outcomes.”
Bowel Cancer Screening is available to those who are between 60-74 years old. The programme is expanding gradually to make it available for everyone aged 50 to 59 years. This is happening gradually over four years and began in April 2021.
For further support on bowel cancer and for support, visit Bowel Cancer UK.