Raising awareness during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

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Icon Toowoomba patient Scott shares his bowel cancer story

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women in Australia and is more common in people over the age of 50. Bowel cancer refers to both colon cancer and rectal cancer. If found early, 9 out of 10 cases of bowel cancer can be successfully treated.

Toowoomba local, Scott Stevenson started experiencing symptoms in the lead-up to Christmas 2021.

“I had irregular bowel movements and some blood in my stools. It was just before Christmas, so the party season was underway and at first I thought it might have been from overindulging. I did the (bowel cancer screening) test and sent it in. My GP called me in and said I needed to have a colonoscopy. I booked in straight away to have it done. While I was in recovery, I was told they had found a tumour and they thought it was cancerous,” Scott said.

The 50-year-old said although receiving a stage 3 bowel cancer diagnosis was a shock, he was determined to stay strong and fight the disease for his wife and two young daughters.

“I’m pretty laid back. I try not to dwell on the negatives. This cancer diagnosis is just a bump in the road. Life is like a rollercoaster and you have to go with the flow. I figure if I don’t worry, they won’t worry. I have faith in modern medicine and the teams know what they are doing. My experience at Icon Toowoomba has been great. They explain things well and they are very professional in what they do,” Scott said.

Scott has undergone five weeks of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

“Everyone’s treatment experience is different. I was ok. I didn’t get sick and I continued to work. I got tired at the end of the five weeks but that’s about it. The radiation and chemo were stage one of my treatment. I’m having surgery and that will be stage two. And I’ll most likely have more chemo after that. It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Scott said.

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Scott is encouraging people to get checked.

“When I’ve told people about my diagnosis, most of them have said they know someone who has had it or is going through it. And more younger people seem to be getting diagnosed with it. I encourage people to get tested and don’t leave it until it’s too late. It could save your life,” Scott said.

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