An Esperance man has avoided a potentially deadly situation by keeping up-to-date with his health checks.
David Jamieson was diagnosed with bowel cancer earlier this year.
“I received the bowel cancer screening kit a few years back when I turned 58, and I didn’t have any worries about using it,” he said.
Mr Jamieson said the test was easy to use and no signs of the disease were found.
This year, his doctor suggested a few routine tests, including a stool test.
“A few days later I got a call saying the test picked something up that meant I had a 1 in 20 chance of having bowel cancer, and from there he sent me off for a colonoscopy,” he said.
“That’s when they found the cancer.”
Mr Jamieson said within three months of his trip to the doctor he had surgery.
“I was very lucky to have caught it when I did, I had no symptoms,” he said.
“I could have gone a few years without picking it up and it could have been too late by the time it was found.
“It costs you nothing to have a check-up and use the kit.
“You’re better off taking the test and getting any abnormalities checked out than waking up one day with bleeding and having the doctors tell you it’s too late and there’s nothing they can do for you.”
I could have gone a few years without picking it up and it could have been too late by the time it was found.David Jamieson
Mr Jamieson said he was a perfect example of the importance of using the kit when you get it, regardless of whether your last results were negative.
“Cancer strikes so quickly,” he said.
“I always tell people about the importance of having regular check-ups with your GP, particularly if you’re experiencing any symptoms, as this has great benefits to detecting and treating early symptoms of cancers.”
Mr Jamieson stayed with his partner at Cancer Council WA’s Crawford Lodge for more than a week after he was discharged from hospital.
“The care I’ve received so far has been great,” he said.
“From start to finish, it was a total of three months from diagnosis, to surgery, to now my recovery.”
Mr Jamieson said the Crawford Lodge was like a family.
“The support here makes you feel like you’re not alone,” he said.
“It’s fantastic that this place exists to keep families together.”
Bowel cancer is one of the top cancers found in men and women in WA, but it’s also one of the most preventable if found early.
Screening is critical because the cancer often develops without any early-warning symptoms.
For more information about bowel cancer screening click here or speak to your doctor.
If you notice any unusual changes with your bowel movements, changes with your body or blood in your poo speak to a doctor as soon as possible.