This Morning’s Dr Philippa Kaye revealed she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May last year.
The London-based GP, 40, appeared on the show today where she told she endured surgery and six months of chemotherapy after being told she had the disease at the age of 39.
The mother-of-four admitted she thought she was ‘too young’ to have the disease, which is most common in those over 60, and was misdiagnosed twice before eventually visiting a bowel surgeon following pain in her pelvis.
Philippa was able to continue her treatment throughout the coronavirus crisis, and is set to undergo 10-12 hour surgery at the end of this week to remove her final remaining cancer lesion.
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This Morning’s Dr Philippa Kaye (pictured), a London-based GP, 40, revealed she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May last year
She appeared on the show today where she told she endured surgery and six months of chemotherapy after being told she had the disease at the age of 39
Speaking of her diagnosis, she said: ‘When you’re young and even as a doctor you think, “This cannot be cancer”. I had had three emergency caesarean sections and I had some pain in my pelvis and assumed it was down to scar tissue and so did my GP .
‘I was 39 and I then went to a gynecologist who also thought it was scar tissue, but when you get scar tissue in your pelvis you should go to a bowel surgeon.’
Speaking of her diagnosis she went on: ‘I think I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.
‘They put you under a little bit of sedation, and you lie down to try and relax. I glanced up at the screen and I looked at the surgeon and he looked at me and I knew.’
The mother-of-four admitted to hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield (both pictured) she thought she was ‘too young’ to have the disease, which is most common in those over 60,
The mother explained that the most difficult thing about her diagnosis was ‘the waiting and uncertainty’ of whether her surgery was successdul.
‘You have to have a period of scans to check where it is’, said Phillipa. ‘And for a lot of us, it’s the waiting and uncertainty that is most difficult.
‘I had a really big surgery and six months of chemotherapy. Then we thought we were done but there is a lesion that is still going and I am going in for a whopper at the end of this week.
‘[It’s] a ten or 12 hour surgery, but sometimes you have to hurt to heal and this is a step towards recovery.’
Signs of bowel cancer
- A persistent change in bowel habit – pooing more often, with looser, runnier poos and sometimes tummy (abdominal) pain
- Blood in the poo without other symptoms of piles – this makes it unlikely the cause is haemorrhoids
- Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating – sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food eaten and weight loss
Dr Philippa was able to continue her treatment throughout the pandemic, but admitted it was ‘really tough’ undergoing chemotherapy and surgery without the support of her loved ones.
‘I was really lucky to be able to continue to have my treatment and I had a smaller surgery in May,’ she said.
‘Coronavirus has lots of costs, there is the mortality related to the virus, the mortality because of things we cannot manage because of the virus and then the mental health costs.
‘To go and wait for a surgery on your own and to wake up on your own without someone to hold your hand and just bear witness to that, is incredibly tough. So for everyone who is on their own in hospital, we are in this together.’
She went on to advise family members of cancer victims to acknowledge the pain their loved ones are going through, and recognise that they don’t have to be positive all the time.
‘My children are young,’ she told, ‘They were 11, seven and four and we’ve always been open about what’s going on.
‘Our loved ones, they hate to see us in pain and the truth is you can be positive and resilient and strong, and sometimes it hurts and sometimes you have a bad day.
‘What we really need is for you to be able to hear that from us and instead of trying to make it better and that constant message of positivity to say “I know, I’m here” and that helps.