Spalding man backs life-saving bowel cancer campaign
Spalding man Rodney Sadd is backing an online campaign to lower the bowel cancer screening age to 50 in a bid to save lives.
Rodney (64) was invited to join the Lincolnshire bowel cancer screening programme aged 60 - in line with the national age - and had potentially troublesome polyps removed "before they turned into something nasty".
But he says it's estimated that up to 6,000 people in their 50s are being diagnosed with bowel cancer each year.
He asks: "Considering they have had no screening available to them at all I wonder how many are diagnosed too late?"
Lauren Backler started a national petition through change.org after her mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer aged 55, and it was too late - because doctors soon confirmed it was terminal.
So far more than half-a-million people have signed the petition, which aims to get a million signatures to fight the UK's second biggest cancer killer.
Rodney hopes more people will follow his example and sign.
He said: "I have just signed up because I can relate to the bowel cancer screening programme and how important it is to find it early and fix it."
When Rodney was first screened, he was sent a home kit that saw him send off a sample for tests.
He says: "Blood was found and I went on to have my first colonoscopy at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
"I had bowel polyps removed from the lining of my bowel. Mine were caught early before they turned into something nasty.
"Now I have a regular screening with a colonoscopy."
A colonoscopy involves inspection of the bowel with a tiny camera.
Rodney says the procedure is unpleasant but it's well worth it if cancer can be caught early and stopped in its tracks.
"They are a caring team at Pilgrim," he said. "They just make you feel at ease and it's not embarrassing - it's routine to these people. It's brilliant what they do."
Rodney says figures from Cancer Research reveal there is a 97 per cent chance of surviving for five years if bowel cancer is caught early - but only a 7 per cent chance of survival if caught in the later stages.
To sign the petition to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt click here