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Family bowel cancer history prompts Wendy

2024-04-12T10:36:41+01:00Friday 12 April 2024|

A retired children’s social care manager made sure she sought medical advice after having potential bowel cancer symptoms as her dad and aunt died from the disease.

Wendy Ball, 64, was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year following a request for a colonoscopy (a test to check inside the bowels) due to her family history.

Once Wendy, of Walsall, started to notice blood after going to the toilet she was given an urgent referral by her GP.

Following her colonoscopy, cancerous cells were detected and within weeks she received an ileostomy – an opening in the abdominal wall that is made during surgery.

Wendy is full of praise for staff at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for being so caring and considerate.

She said: “I can’t praise the staff enough. I have a stoma bag fitted and they have been supportive not only of my physical health but of my mental health too.

“The operation was a success and thanks to the amazing staff my cancer has been removed.”

As well as regular check-ups with the Oncology Team, Wendy is also supported by the Pre-Rehabilitation Team as they visit her to check her stoma bag, blood pressure and do any other tests.

Ginny Hill, Colorectal Clinical Nurse Specialist at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “‘Early diagnosis is essential to good outcomes. It’s great that Wendy sought advice from her GP early.”

This Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Wendy is urging others to make the right choice and seek advice from a healthcare professional if their bowel movements are in any way different from the norm.

“Act quickly and ask questions. It may be scary, but it’s worth it to preserve your health and your life.” she added.

Symptoms of bowel cancer may include:

  • changes in your poo, such as having softer poo, diarrhoea or constipation that is not usual for you
  • needing to poo more or less often than usual for you
  • blood in your poo, which may look red or black
  • bleeding from your bottom
  • often feeling like you need to poo, even if you’ve just been to the toilet
  • tummy pain
  • a lump in your tummy
  • bloating
  • losing weight without trying
  • feeling very tired for no reason

For further information, please visit the NHS website:

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