As BBC Radio 1’s Adele Roberts shares new health update – the 5 signs of bowel cancer you need to know

ADELE Roberts has revealed she has taken the “first step” towards getting her colon working again after beating cancer.

The Radio 1 DJ, 43, had her rectum removed after being diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer.


Adele said she was “nervous” ahead of a surgery which could mean using he the toilet “the old-fashioned way” some day
Adele was fitted with a stoma (which she nicknamed Audrey) in October


Adele was fitted with a stoma (which she nicknamed Audrey) in OctoberCredit: Instagram/@adeleroberts

And June last year, the star was given the all clear.

In a health update shared on Instagram, Adele said she was “nervous” ahead of a surgery which could mean using a toilet “the old-fashioned way” some day.

Adele was fitted with a stoma (which she nicknamed Audrey) in October – a device which allows waste to be diverted out of the body and into a bag.

When it was fitted, doctors told the former Big Brother contestant she might not be able to go to the toilet normally ever again.

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 “I may be down a rectum but I think there’s enough left to blag it and get things moving again,” she explained.

“The fact I can recover from bowel cancer, have a stoma, start getting my life back on track and today a balloon up my bum to sort out my stricture is just marvellous.

“What a time to be alive?!

“I’m in awe of the advances in medical science in the UK too. Thank you to everyone who helps make that happen. You do us proud,” she added.

She detailed in the lengthy post: “‘The next steps are to see the surgery team again soon for the ‘finger test’.

“Praying it’s carried out by someone with small hands because the last time they tried to go there they had to peel me off the ceiling. 

“I think there’ll be a few more surgeries for me this year… but do you know what, I’m just so happy they can help me and there’s hope. 

“I might be able to go to the toilet the ‘old fashioned way’ one day in the future. Might even get inspired by all the balloons and have a grand re-opening party. 

“Until then – It’s me and you Audrey you little legend. Thanks for keeping me happy, healthy, alive and kicking. I love and appreciate you more than you could imagine.”

What are the 5 symptoms of bowel cancer?

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, spotting any changes and going to your doctor is vital.

If you notice any of the signs, don’t be embarrassed and make sure you speak to your GP.

Bowel Cancer UK states that five red-flag symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  1. Bleeding from the back passage, or blood in your poo
  2. A change in your normal toilet habits – going more frequently for example
  3. Pain or a lump in your tummy
  4. Extreme tiredness
  5. Losing weight

Tumours in the bowel typically bleed, which can cause a shortage of red blood cells, known as anaemia. It can cause tiredness and sometimes breathlessness.

In some cases bowel cancer can block the bowel, this is known as a bowel obstruction.

Less common signs of bowel cancer include:

  1. Gripping pains in the abdomen
  2. Feeling bloated
  3. Constipation and being unable to pass wind
  4. Being sick
  5. Feeling like you need to strain – like doing a number two – but after you’ve been to the loo

Fewer than one in ten people survive bowel cancer if it’s picked up at stage 4, but detected quickly – at stage 1 – more than nine in ten patients will live five years or longer.

There are two ways to ensure early diagnosis – screening and awareness. But, Brits are subjected to a bowel cancer screening postcode lottery.

The Sun launched the No Time 2 Lose campaign in April 2018 – to call on the Government to lower the screening age to 50, which could save 4,500 lives annually.

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In the summer of 2018, health secretary Matt Hancock announced screening in England would be lowered to 50 – marking a victory for The Sun and campaigners.

The programme expanded to include 56 year olds in 2021.

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