Powerful portrait series show impact of bowel cancer
Today we launch a powerful portrait series for our campaign, #thisisbowelcancer, which shines a light on the varied and many people affected by bowel cancer.
We commissioned acclaimed photographer, Sophie Mayanne, to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April.
Those featured in the photos include award-nominated The Sun Online columnist Deborah James (@Bowelbabe), 37, who is being treated for stage four bowel cancer. As well as those also in treatment for the disease, have lost loved ones and those in remission, some of which were joined by their parents, partners and children.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, with almost 42,000 people diagnosed. More than 16,000 people die each year of the disease making it the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, but it shouldn’t be as bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.
Although the disease is more common in the over 50s, it can affect people of all ages. More than 2,500 people under 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year.
Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK said: “These incredible images are a beautiful homage to those affected by bowel cancer. Young, old, female or male – it can affect us all.
“Around 268,000 people living in the UK today have been diagnosed with bowel cancer. But it doesn’t just impact the person with the disease. It touches their families, friends and colleagues, doctors and nurses, scientists and researchers. That’s millions of people right across the UK. We need more people affected by bowel cancer to come together and take action to create a future where nobody dies of this disease.”
Photographer Sophie Mayanne said: "My grandad had bowel cancer in his final years, so it is a topic that hits close to home for me. It's important to show the different angles of living with cancer - as each person's journey is as unique, as it is emotional. I think the most important thing people can take away from these images is that life doesn't stop when you are diagnosed with cancer. My grandad was still my grandad when he was diagnosed, as are mothers still mothers, partners still partners and family still family.”
Deborah James, 37, was diagnosed with bowel cancer just before Christmas 2016. Read Deborah's story
Barbara Hibbert, 61, was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2014. Read Barbara's story
Jaimin Patel, 35, was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in 2013, three years later he found out it was incurable. Read Jaimin's story
Margaret Chung,66, lost her daughter Annabel to bowel cancer in 2016 at just 36, seven months after she was diagnosed with the disease. Read Margaret's story
Gemma Savory, 34,was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in 2014. Read Gemma's story
Richard Bingham, 40, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2016. Read Richard's story
Katy Bruce JaJa, 34, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer six months ago in 2018, after her symptoms were missed whilst she was pregnant with her youngest son. Read Katy's story
Reginald Bull, 84, was diagnosed with stage one bowel cancer when he was 53. Read Reg's story
Seraphine Uwimana, 49, lost her husband, Antoine, in 2016 after he died from bowel cancer.
Stuart Cock, 44, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2017.