Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

Patient stories posted 29 April, 2021

Blog post by patient David Calvert

“Just before Christmas 2020, I received an invitation to take part in Bowel Cancer screening, this is something I have done a couple of times since turning 60. On the previous occasions I had received a letter after a couple of weeks advising that all was clear. On this occasion I was contacted within the week and advised that an anomaly had been detected requiring further investigation a Colonoscopy, the caller in a very calm and friendly manner talked me through the procedure indicating the various potential outcomes, which in most cases is all is OK. An appointment was made during this phone call for some 10/11 days later at a hospital.

Going for any medical appointment especially to a hospital does run through your mind, the unknown plays on your fears/apprehension. On arriving for my appointment, the nurses, and doctors in fact all the staff were welcoming, friendly, I would describe them as being warm. The procedure was carried out much more easily than I had imagined, other than being at a hospital it was like just a normal day, when I went home having spent about 2 hours at the hospital it seemed like nothing had really taken place.

I am due for a follow up colonoscopy in 3 years, with what I know now I will not have any apprehension or let it play on my mind or disturb my sleep. I would describe the procedure as being very much like going to the dentist for routine checkups, as the old saying goes prevention is better than a cure.

My procedure included the removal of 3 polyps, these were sent away for analysis and I received a phone call 4 or 5 days later to check up on how I was and was advise all clear.

I realise now that having doubts is normal, the experience has allowed me to be comfortable if not relaxed about having the procedure again in the future. When you receive your appointment letter included are the steps/preparation you need to take in the 3 days leading up to your procedure, I can’t stress enough how important following these instructions will make the procedure easier on you.

I did not like the preparation drink but managed to get it all down.”