ADELE Roberts has revealed she won’t be getting rid of her stoma bag anytime soon, after learning doctors removed an organ during surgery.
A stoma is an opening on the abdomen which connects to the digestive or urinary system and allows waste to be diverted out of the body and into a bag.
The star announced she was cancer free in June, but is still managing the affects of major treatments.
In an update, shared on her Instagram, Adele said her stoma bag – which she has named ‘Audrey’ will be staying for the “time being”.
“It’s a long story but essentially it’s not possible to give me a reversal of my stoma anytime soon.
“[My consultant] also casually mentioned that I’ve had my rectum removed – I might not be able to go to the toilet normally ever again,” she added.
“Anyway… for now – while I do have the honour of having a stoma I thought I could try & do some good.
“I can share what life is like day to day and maybe things I find helpful?,” she said.
There are around 200,000 people in the UK with a stoma bag, charity Colostomy UK says.
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“[These people include] little babies right up to the more distinguished and senior members – so many more people than we all realise – and together I feel like we could do a lot of good,” she explained.
The DJ said she still felt “battered” by chemotherapy treatment.
What is bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer is where the disease starts in the large intestines – it’s also referred to as colon or colorectal cancer, because it can also affect the colon and rectum.
Most bowel cancers develop from pre-cancerous growths, called polyps.
Not all will turn cancerous, but if your doctor finds any, they will tend to remove them to prevent cancer.
It’s one of the deadliest forms of the disease, but it CAN be cured – if it’s caught early enough.
Nearly 43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year and 16,500 die from it.
It one of the most common cancers in England, but only one in 20 Brits would go to the doctor if they had symptoms of bowel cancer.
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.
What are the risk factors of bowel cancer?
You’re at greater risk of bowel cancer if you have one or more of the following risk factors:
- you’re aged over 50
- you have a strong family history of the disease
- a history of non-cancerous growths, known as polyps, in your bowel
- long-term inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- type 2 diabetes
- an unhealthy lifestyle – you smoke, are overweight or obese and do not get enough exercise
There are two ways to ensure early diagnosis – screening and awareness. But, Brits are subjected to a bowel cancer screening postcode lottery.
In Scotland, screening starts at 50 – yet in England, Wales and Northern Ireland people had to wait until their 60th birthdays to be invited for screening.
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.
What are the first 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.
The five red-flag symptoms of bowel cancer include:
- Bleeding from the back passage, or blood in your poo
- A change in your normal toilet habits – going more frequently for example
- Pain or a lump in your tummy
- Extreme tiredness
- 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.
Other signs of bowel cancer include:
- Gripping pains in the abdomen
- Feeling bloated
- Constipation and being unable to pass wind
- Being sick
- Feeling like you need to strain – like doing a number two – but after you’ve been to the loo