Laura Dakin, 29 from Kent
"I was 29 when I was diagnosed with stage 2 bowel cancer in October 2017.
"Symptoms started in November 2016, where I had stomach pains and cramps, sickness and tiredness. I knew something was up because they were so painful, I just didn’t know what was wrong with me.
"I went to the doctors about six or seven times and I was told my symptoms were because of stress or IBS. I didn’t think my symptoms were anything to do with cancer as my doctor hadn’t suggested anything like this.
"In October this year the cramps came back again and they were really painful again so I went to A&E as it was 11 o’clock at night. This is where they referred me to then have an emergency CT scan, where I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
I went to the doctors about six or seven times and I was told my symptoms were because of stress or IBS
"I had to have emergency surgery to remove the right side of my bowel. I am due to start chemotherapy soon which will last for three months and am having a colonoscopy in two weeks.
"I have a three year old son so finding out I have bowel cancer has been a massive shock. People think you can’t have it at my age but if I hadn’t been persistent with my symptoms, I would still have it now."
But we’re leading change
Never Too Young is leading change for younger bowel cancer patients. Every year 2,500 younger people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK. Our research has shown that younger bowel cancer patients have a very different experience of diagnosis, treatment and care.
What are we calling for?
- Improved clinical guidance and practice on bowel cancer in younger people
- Improved identification of people with genetic conditions and access to surveillance screening
- Improved information for younger people on bowel cancer symptoms