Bowel Cancer UK: Stephen’s Story

Thu 26th January 2023

As part of our partnership with Bowel Cancer UK this season, and our aim to encourage people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, we are sharing a number of case studies of individuals who have experienced bowel cancer first hand. Take a look at lifelong Rangers fan Stephen’s story, and find out how early diagnosis saved his life!

Stephen Forrest

Stephen Forrest from East Kilbride has been a Rangers fan for over 60 years and is passionate about encouraging supporters to take part in regular bowel cancer screening tests and be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer.

Stephen explained: “In 2009 after a routine test I was diagnosed with prostate cancer but after radiotherapy treatment I was cancer free until October 2021. Another routine test showed I had a cancerous tumour in my bowel. Various tests and scans followed and just before Christmas 2021 I had a section of my bowel removed.

“Luckily it appears the cancer was caught early and had not spread out of the bowel. I am once more cancer free and back to almost full health.”

Stephen is a great example of how early detection and treatment can save lives. Bowel Cancer UK’s research shows that nearly half of people in Scotland can’t name a single symptom of bowel cancer – Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer. Knowing the red flag symptoms and contacting your GP if you have any of them can help increase the chances of an early diagnosis, when the disease is easier to treat.

The symptoms of bowel cancer can include bleeding from your bottom or blood in your poo, a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason, and a pain or lump in your tummy. Most people with these symptoms don’t have bowel cancer, but if you have one or more of these, or if things just don’t feel right, contact your GP.

Stephen added: “As my cancer was discovered so early and treatment was successful I can look forward to many more years of full health to enjoy family, football, golf – LIFE.”

“It’s important to me to share my story to stress the importance of completing regular bowel cancer screening tests, as well as raising awareness of bowel cancer.”

“Three events really cheered me up immensely as I recovered from bowel cancer. Firstly Rangers went on another incredible, amazing run of victories to the Europa Cup Final in Seville. I then got involved with Rangers Founders Trail regarding a founding father of my Golf Club, David Hill, who was also involved with Rangers at the earliest days of their formation.

“Finally, Rangers Charity Foundation nominating Bowel Cancer UK for the charity of the year, which was almost too much of a coincidence, but I’m so proud of them for doing it. I encourage all Rangers fans to support this initiative by coming forward and posting their bowel cancer stories.”

Bowel Cancer UK want to hear from the Rangers Family – whether you’re a fan, player, staff or a member of the community, we want to bring the varied people affected by bowel cancer together, to shine a light on your stories and experiences. If you’ve been affected by bowel cancer and you’re a Rangers fan, share your story HERE.

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