‘EARLIER BOWEL CANCER SCREENING MAY HAVE IMPROVED DAD’S DIAGNOSIS’

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Cambrian News photographer - The Wymer family: Sarah, Tom, Patrick and Alice

AN Aberystwyth woman is calling on the government to lower the screening age for bowel cancer from 60 to 50, following her father’s terminal diagnosis at the age of 52.

Cambrian News reported “Alice Wymer, who works at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, says she will always wonder if screening could have helped her father, Patrick, who has stage four bowel cancer.

Patrick, now 53, has become a spokesperson for Bowel Cancer UK, sharing his story and writing about his condition online.

Alice, 23, a former Aberystwyth University student and marketing and communications assistant for the arts centre, is hoping to do the same by speaking out about screening.

“I didn’t know anything about screening for bowel cancer before my dad was diagnosed,” she explained, “but in Scotland the age for doing it is 50 and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland it’s 60.

“Scotland obviously screens earlier for a reason, so it’s frustrating that they don’t do the same here, particularly in my dad’s circumstances. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer at 52, and whilst it may not have made a difference, it feels like it probably would have done.

“Also, people think bowel cancer only affects older people, but looking in to it now I can see that there are people a lot younger than dad who have it. And if bowel cancer is detected early, it’s very treatable, so it really is frustrating that screening starts at 60.”

You can follow Patrick’s journey on Twitter @bowelcancerman, and for more information about bowel cancer visit www.bowelcanceruk.org.ukhere.

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