Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 at 9:48 PM by IK K
Barbara and Mark at Parliament Square, London, with Lauren Backler, who has raised a petition of 450,000 signatures.
On 26 April, Mark and I supported Lauren Backler along with many others who have suffered colon cancer in their 50’s. Lauren’s Mum died at the age of 56 from colon cancer, just three months after her diagnosis. Had she been screened at the age of 50, she would have had a chance of three screening tests. She may still be alive and Lauren believes that she would still have her Mum.
Together, we handed in a petition to the Department of Health in London of 450,000 signatures from people who support this cause. I myself was diagnosed late with colorectal cancer at the age of 52. I had visited my GP with all the symptoms at the age of 46 but I was misdiagnosed repeatedly. Had I been screened at the age of 50, maybe my cancer would not have developed to stage IV when it was very difficult to treat and only a 5% chance of survival.
In Scotland, the screening age has been lowered to 50 years old and they also use the new type of screening for colon cancer called FIT. This is a much simpler test as it only requires one sample and is far more accurate, picking up earlier signs of colon cancer. Inevitably, this saves lives and money as it prevents the cancer developing into something that is far more difficult and expensive to treat.
Lauren herself says,
‘APR 2018 — So, this petition was handed in to the Department of Health yesterday! It was a very emotional and big day for me! I was joined by my local MP Stephen Lloyd, my previous MP Caroline Ansell, as well as other members of Parliament also. Deborah Alsina, CEO of Beating bowel cancer and Bowel Cancer UK, Sean Fletcher and also many brave and incredible people who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer in their 50’s were also there. I was particularly touched that those people had come to support, and that really got me emotional; those people, just like my Mum have been cheated of screening and are the reason for this campaign.’
Indeed, this was an emotional and also a very happy day for all of us as we felt that we were truly achieving something worthwhile. It is also very rewarding to be working so closely on something that has affected all our lives.
Let’s make our world a better place…