Patient Stories

Lynn Faulds Wood

Lynn Faulds Wood

Twenty years ago life could not have been better.  John and I had a delightful two year old son. Then out of the blue, I was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer. I had never even heard of the disease.

My symptom was very subtle, just a little rectal bleeding which came and went. I mentioned it to my then GP when going for a cervical smear test.  To his credit, he did give me a PR (Per Rectum digital examination with a gloved finger) but concluded it was "nothing to worry about at your age, probably piles".  After five months, still not worried, I decided to see another GP at the practice and asked for a referral to a specialist. Because no one was anxious about my subtle symptom, I wasn't fast tracked and it was almost a year before I discovered the shocking truth - I had Stage C bowel cancer.

Twenty years ago, most people who developed bowel cancer died and, on paper, I had a 34% chance of survival. Not much had changed in the previous 40 years.

When I finally got the all clear, I made a TV investigation into bowel cancer – “Bobby Moore & Me” – which got an amazing 6.5 million viewers and 28,000 letters poured in.  That’s when I decided to give up most TV work to concentrate on saving lives from bowel cancer and other preventable or survivable cancers.

Now I spend most of my time unpaid working on cancer.  I sit on key committees – President of the Multi Disciplinary Team Task Force, Patron of the Primary Care Gastrointestinal Society etc, our charity funds research and many research papers bear my name.  I’ve opened many screening centres, new hospital endoscopy and bowel cancer units.

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