A Market Rasen woman has become the third generation of her family to be affected by bowel cancer, now she is fundraising to help others.
Penny Burton was diagnosed with a large tumour in her colon last year, at the age of 48.
“I noticed some bleeding when I went to the toilet, but apart from that I felt perfectly well,” she said.
“Mind you, in hindsight, which is a wonderful thing, I did have some stomach bloating, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time.”
The tumour was almost blocking her bowel and she underwent major surgery to remove it, followed by six months of chemotherapy.
“It is just a year since my surgery and it certainly hasn’t been pleasant getting through this,” added Penny, who is currently undergoing tests to look at a genetic connection - her father was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 49 and her grandmother at 63.
And she has this advice for others.
“Get over the embarrassment and get symptoms checked out. If it is caught early, it is very treatable.”
And Penny is doing her bit to help others, hoping to raise £5,000 for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer.
She is holding a fundraising coffee morning at St Thomas’s Church Room in Market Rasen Market Place this Saturday, October 25, from 9am to 12pm.
And she is also walking the Great Wall of China in April.
Sponsor her at the coffee morning or log on to www.justgiving.com/PennyBurton
Bowel cancer - don’t sit on your symptoms
Bowel cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.
It will affect 1 in 20 women and 1 in 16 men, with around 41,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
The charity Beating Bowel Cancer has plenty of advice for anyone living with or concerned about the condition.
They say it is safe to watch and wait for up to three weeks, but if any of these ‘high risk’ symptoms persist, you should see you GP.
Bleeding from the bottom or blood in your poo - unexplained bleeding, poo streaked with blood or mucus, or dark sticky poo.
A persistent change in bowel habit - especially if you re going to the toilet more or have loser stools.
Constant, unexplained pain in anywhere in the abdomen.
An unexplained lump in your abdomen - especially on the right hand side.
Unexpected weight loss - perhaps due to lack of appetite, or feeling bloated or sick.
Unexplained tiredness - may be a symptom of anaemia.
For fact sheets, log on to www.beatingbowelcancer.org or call 08450 719300.