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  1. ITV Report

Keeping a diary to help spot the signs of cancer early enough for treatment

Beth Purvis, 39, was diagnosed with late stage bowel cancer two years ago. Photo: ITV News Anglia

A mother from Hertfordshire has created a symptoms diary for bowel cancer which experts believe could save lives.

Beth Purvis, 39, was diagnosed with late-stage bowel cancer two years ago.

Now the mum of two from Bishop's Stortford wants to help more people get an early diagnosis.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Elodie Harper

She's spent the past year working on a diary that patients can take to their GP.

Now the diary is being promoted by a national charity.

Beth went to her GP more than once with symptoms but was told not to worry.

By the time she was finally diagnosed the disease was advanced.

Beth Purvis went to the GP several times before she was given her cancer diagnosis. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's had a huge impact. It's been difficult for the children, they've seen me in hospital and not well at home.

"My husband has had to take time out of work to attend hospital appointments and support me.

"I think the biggest thing is we don't know quite how to plan for the future because we don't know what future we've got."

– Beth Purvis
Beth Purvis with her family in Bishop's Stortford. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Beth's cancer is currently being kept at bay by chemotherapy but living with the constant possibility of its return is deeply stressful.

Spotting cancer early is crucial and to try and save others.

Beth has designed a three-week symptoms diary people can take to their GP appointment.

That diary is now being promoted nationwide by Bowel Cancer UK.