Dr Philippa opens up about her battle with bowel cancer

Dr Philippa joined Holly and Phil on today's show to talk about her battle with bowel cancer.

She was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer last year at the age of 39. But didn't display the classic symptoms.

Dr Philippa is due to have 10 to 12 hours of gruelling surgery at the end of this week, but remains upbeat saying "sometimes you've got to hurt to heal. This is going to be it, I hope, and then that's the first step to recover."  

In May 2019, Dr Philippa had surgery to remove part of her bowel followed by six months of chemotherapy soon after. 

She then had another round of surgery last May which mum Philippa described as the hardest amid the pandemic saying "I was incredibly lucky to have had treatment at that time, but to go and wait for surgery on your own and to wake up on your own without someone to hold your hand is incredibly tough."

Dr Philippa is incredibly honest with her young family about her battle. Her advice for loved ones of others with cancer is "they hate to see us in pain and the truth is you can be positive, resilient and strong... but sometimes you have a bad day and what we really need is for you to be able to hear that from us." 

Bowel cancer is the UK's fourth most common cancer and second biggest killer. But it doesn't have to be a death sentence. When caught early, there's a 90% rate of survival. Most people diagnosed are over the age of 60.

What are the symptoms?

As Dr Philippa experienced, there are often no symptoms in the early stages of the disease and regular screening is key for detection. However, there are some common symptoms to look out for:- Persistent blood in your faeces - Change in your bowel habit- Persistent lower stomach pains, bloating or discomfort 

Visit Bowel Cancer UK to find out more