Adele Roberts Opening Up About Her Bowel Cancer Highlights The Obstacles Young People Face In Being Diagnosed

'I was embarrassed but I also knew it could be something serious,' the Radio 1 DJ wrote on Instagram.

Adele Roberts

by Georgia Aspinall |

Last night, BBC Radio 1 presenter Adele Roberts announced that she has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and will undergo surgery to remove a tumour today. Posting the devastating news on Instagram, Adele highlighted the symptoms of bowel cancer and the importance of seeing your GP no matter how embarrassing your symptoms may be, as it can help ensure early diagnosis.

‘For a while now I’ve been struggling with my digestion,’ Adele explained. ‘Thanks to a conversation I had with my Dad a few years back I went to my GP for a check-up. I’ll be honest, I was embarrassed but I also knew that it could be something serious. So I went just in case. I didn’t think anything of it at first and just assumed it might be food sensitivity. After a few phone calls I was sent for some examinations and checks. I was then diagnosed with bowel cancer. This was at the start of the month.

‘It’s all happened so quickly and I’m so sorry to post something like this on here but I hope it helps anyone who might be worrying, or suffering in silence,’ she continued. ‘PLEASE make sure you get checked out if you have ANY concerns. The sooner you’re able to see your GP or talk to someone the sooner you can get help. If I hadn’t I might not be so lucky. As I’ve learned over the last few weeks, there’s no ‘normal’ with cancer. Sadly it can affect anyone, at any age, anytime. It doesn’t discriminate. Early detection can save your life.’

Adele confirmed that the outlook of her prognosis is ‘positive’ and that she feels incredibly ‘lucky’ to be treatable, but also said she was heartbroken for her family and worries for girlfriend Kate Holderness while she’s away.

Adele Roberts and Kate Holderness
Adele Roberts and Kate Holderness in October 2021. ©Getty Images

Now, the DJ is trending on Google with people searching for her 2002 Big Brother appearance and time in the I’m A Celebrity jungle. The most important search related to her name though? ‘Bowel cancer symptoms’. A breakout search term this morning, it seems Adele opening up about her bowel cancer – particularly at her young age of 42 – has led to an increase in enquiries about the causes, symptoms and treatments of the disease.

It’s exactly what Adele appeared to want from her statement, hoping that opening up would encourage others to get checked too – the symptoms for bowel cancer including bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo, as well as persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason and a pain or lump in your stomach.

According to Bowel Cancer UK, it is often more difficult for young people to get a diagnosis as the disease usually affected those over the age of 50.

‘Most people with bowel cancer are diagnosed when they are over the age of 50. But more than 2,500 people under 50 are diagnosed each year in the UK,’ their website reads. ‘We often hear from younger people who have had problems getting a diagnosis and who find it hard to get information and support that is relevant to them.’

The NHS website states that almost 9 in 10 people with bowel cancer are aged 60 or over, with everyone aged 60 to 74 eligible for bowel cancer screenings every 2 years. The programme is expanding to include 56-year-olds this year, but many warn that younger peoples symptoms must be taken more seriously to avoid misdiagnosis of bowel cancer in those under 50.

Hopefully, Adele opening up about her diagnosis will go some way towards encouraging early detection and young people visiting their GP if they’re concerned – as she says, it can save truly lives.

If you're worried about any of the above symptoms, visit your GP or talk to an expert at Macmillan Cancer Support****. The Macmillan Support Line can help with clinical, practical and financial information. Call 0808 808 00 00, open seven days a week 8am-8pm.

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