Lisburn cancer duo tell survival stories

Ruth Morrison
Ruth Morrison

Two Lisburn residents, William Pedlow and Ruth Morrison, are supporting Bowel Cancer UK’s call, asking people to spread the word among their family, friends and colleagues to take part in screening.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the introduction of bowel cancer screening in the UK. The charity has been highlighting the issue during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in April.

Every year over 41,000 people, one every 15 minutes, are diagnosed with bowel cancer and 16,200 people die of the disease.

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme can detect bowel cancer at an early stage. Since its launch, it has been proven to save lives. If you’re registered with a GP and aged 60-74 you will receive a test in the post every two years.

Rebecca Pedlow’s father, William was diagnosed at the age of 68 when he had food poisoning, after eating out.

“He went to hospital, and because of his symptoms, his doctor referred him for more tests,” Rebecca said. “My dad was referred for a colonoscopy which diagnosed a cancerous tumour. They then sent him for a scan. He was never told the stage of the cancer.”

He went for surgery which lasted around four hours and luckily he did not need any other treatment, apart from scans.

“I would definitely encourage everyone to do the test as my dad did not have any symptoms,” said Rebecca.

Ruth Morrison, 67, married with three grownup children had no personal experience of bowel cancer prior to diagnosis. A cousin died of bowel cancer while two other relatives were diagnosed with bowel cancer.

She completed the bowel cancer screening test twice, before undertaking it again in 2015 when she was diagnosed with stage 2 bowel cancer. She had a flexible sigmoidoscopy to remove the lesion, and also had a CAT scan.

Ruth who did not need any other treatment said, “I feel very lucky that screening identified my bowel cancer early, it meant there were no side effects.

“I was shocked to be diagnosed but tried to remain positive throughout.”

For more information visit Bowel Cancer UK’s website bowelcanceruk.org.uk.