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Jackson Prestwidge

Patient/Survivor Stage III Rectal Cancer
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I first went into the doctor with my partner in 2018 because I was experiencing the passing of pain, mucous, and blood.

I was told without any procedure, examination, or check that it would be internal haemorrhoids and recommended a month rest from exercise, fibre, and Buscopan®.

After this break from exercise and the clinic renovations complete, I went back in since I was experiencing low mood and passing of blood intermittent. But still, no examination. I was given a blood test.

I went back in again, as I was still experiencing bleeding. Without any examination of the area, I was then given an internal haemorrhoid management plan, which worked. Until it didn’t.

I took this all of this advice as gospel, as I trusted my doctor.

Fast forward two years where the bleeding wouldn’t stop with the “management plan.”

I went back in and was told I have IBS, but with persistence I was given a digital examination and colonoscopy, which found stage III rectal cancer at age 30.

My treatments were radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy. During surgery, I was given an ileostomy.

Side effects include pain, LARS, neuropathy, skin rashes, and increased anxiety.

My advice for someone who may be afraid to seek medical advice or colorectal cancer screening is to seek a specialist in the field you're experiencing discomfort. Also, make sure you get examined and a camera.

Something members of Congress should know is that there should be a checklist for any rectal bleeding including digital examination, faecal test, and blood test.

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