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How loosening up about bowel problems saved this man's life
It is something everyone does, yet no one wants to talk about, leaving many to suffer in silence.
On average, people spend three years on the toilet but not talking about your problems there can lead to life threatening illnesses going unchecked.
This was nearly the case for Stephen Browne, 47 from Lower Edmonton, who had suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and piles and assumed there was nothing wrong.
But almost a year later when the symptoms had been continuous, he eventually told his wife and GP who discovered he had bowel cancer.
The building surveyor said: “I just thought it was another case of piles. I left it nearly a whole year before telling my wife because I was embarrassed. I was very fortunate that the cancer hadn’t spread from my bowel.”
After seeing his GP in January last year, Mr Browne had an operation in March 2012 and has made a full recovery. However, with nearly half of the population too embarrassed to talk to the GP about their issues, the 47-year-old had a word of warning to others who might be suffering from the same problems.
He said: “My underlining message would be to think of the worst-case scenario and go to the GP as soon as possible. Most men have this macho mindset and will think it’s just nothing. We need to look at cancer as the first possibility and work our way back towards minor problems because ultimately bowel cancer is the killer and not piles.”
Nutritionist Kate Arnold says: “It seems as though the British stiff upper lip is alive and well. But we know that being coy about poo and bowel issues can leave people feeling helpless when there are changes. Constipation and other bowel worries affect thousands of people, so loosen up! Let’s get talking!”
For more information go to www.LetsTalkConstipation.co.uk
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