Beating bowel cancer together

We release third podcast episode hosted by BBC journalist, George Alagiah

BBC journalist George Alagiah talks openly about how bowel cancer has affected his family and those around him, in the third episode of, ‘In conversation with George Alagiah: A Bowel Cancer UK podcast’.

This third episode builds on the success of our new podcast, which was launched at the start of April to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

In the episode, released today (Thursday 25 April) George interviews Stacey Heale, 39, from Southampton, whose husband has stage 4 bowel cancer, along with our Chief Executive, Deborah Alsina MBE, on what it’s like caring for someone with bowel cancer. 

During the episode, George and Stacey discuss the impact of the bowel cancer diagnosis on their families, caring for a loved one and how both have seen their outlooks on life shift, with George saying “I mean I wish I’d never had cancer, I wish I’d never got it. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But now that I’ve got it, it’s made life richer. It’s clearer to me what’s important and it’s clearer to me how to love people.”

Stacey shares her experience saying: “‘I remember feeling like all that sound had been turned down…and I remembered thinking to myself listen to what they’re saying, listen to all the words, and I just couldn’t hear any sound at all…I thought on the day that Greg was diagnosed that life was over, that my girls lives were going to be ruined forever…and they’re not”.

George also shares how he has learnt to manage the psychological impact of living with bowel cancer. Saying “Everybody’s got their way of dealing with it, but I had to get to what I now call my place of contentment. Because there was so much thrashing about in my mind, some of it negative, some of it dark. My terrible thing was thinking of Fran (George’s wife) and I realised I can’t do that. So I got to this place of contentment and said, you know what I found this, I found my plateau.”

Bowel Cancer UK Chief Executive, Deborah Alsina MBE said: “We’re incredibly grateful to both George and Stacey for opening up about their experiences of caring for a loved one. Our podcast forms part of our #thisisbowelcancer campaign, which aims to shine a light on the varied and many people affected by the disease. Around 268,000 people living in the UK today have been diagnosed with bowel cancer. This episode emphasises that it doesn’t just impact the person diagnosed. It affects families, friends and colleagues, doctors and nurses, scientists and researchers. That’s millions of people right across the UK.

“We want everyone affected by bowel cancer to come together and take action to help create a future where nobody dies of the disease.”

Bowel cancer is the UK’s fourth most common cancer and second biggest cancer killer with more than 16,000 people dying from the disease every year. However bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.”

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