‘Screening programme saved my life’
Cancer survivor backs new government initiative
July 2016 marks the 10 year anniversary of the introduction of bowel cancer screening in the UK and Derek Weidner is urging people to spread the word to take part in screening.
The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme can detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms when it is easier to treat.
Mr Weidner said: “I was 62 when diagnosed and just had a change in bowel motions, I undertook only one screening test, the one that assisted diagnosis.
“Once screened and results given, whilst not an ideal process, it started the ball rolling for treatment.
“After surgery to remove the tumour, I had two bouts of chemotherapy for six weeks, followed by radiotherapy every day and had a colostomy bag for seven months then a reversal.
“With recovery problems from the operation, I was not well for probably 18 months to two years.”
“I’m very grateful to the screening programme as it basically saved my life.
“My tumour was near breaking through the bowel wall and unless I had screening info I probably would have delayed trip the doctor.” a in to my
Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said, “Since bowel cancer screening was first introduced to the UK 10 years ago, it has had a huge impact on the outcome for patients as it is both preventing cancer from developing and detecting it earlier when easier to treat.
“I am regularly told by patients detected through screening how grateful they are that they took the test because, in their view, it has saved their life.”
Through screening, over 25,000 cases of bowel cancer have been detected in England alone since 2006 and over 81,000 advanced adenomas, which potentially could have become cancerous.
Ms Alsina added: “It’s fantastic that the Government has announced the introduction of the simpler and more accurate Faecal Immunochemical test (FIT) as this has been shown to improve uptake by up to 10 percent, and even double uptake in some groups of previous non-responders.
“This provides us with a very real opportunity to save more lives in the future and so we look forward to continuing working with the Government, Public Heath England and NHS England on its introduction.”
Visit bowelcanceruk.org. uk to find out more.
Last month Workaid, based in Townsend Road, Chesham, enjoyed a bumper sale of garden equipment at Chenies Manor at the invitation of Charles Mcleod Matthews, son of the late Mrs Mcleod Matthews.
During the day, Workaid was presented with Mrs Mcleod Matthews’ 1896 Singer 28K sewing machine by her son Charles.
The machine will now be serviced and included in a shipment to Tanzania in Container Cunningham named in memory of Workaid’s oldest volunteer Frank Cunningham, who died earlier this year at the age of 92.
Fittingly, the Container will also carry some of Mr Cunningham’s own tools donated by his family.
Over the past 30 years, Workaid has shipped 92 containers to Africa supporting almost 3,000 vocational training projects and has improved the lives of more than 150,000 people and their communities. For more information visit www.workaid.org.