Cancer scare for town mayor

A MAYOR has urged people to take every opportunity for cancer screening after he missed a test and suffered a scare.

Russell Claydon

A MAYOR has urged people to take every opportunity for cancer screening after he missed a test and suffered a scare.

Adrian Osborne had to take time out of duties at Sudbury Town Hall after a suspicious lump was discovered, which later turned out to be a cancerous tumour in his bowel.

A year before he had been sent a reminder to have a bowel screening test and because he had been undergoing an operation to remove his gall bladder he never had the screening done.

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After recovering from successful surgery on his bowel he is now urging others not to make the same mistake as they may not be as lucky as he was.

The 63-year-old father-of-two said: “As far as I was concerned I had other things on my mind at the time and you put it on the back burner and that is not how it should be.

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“The longer you leave things the scarier they become, as I found out. I was very fortunate and will be getting regularly checked up now.”

The amateur cricket umpire first noticed the suspect lump at the end of July and got it checked out immediately before undergoing surgery at West Suffolk Hospital in September.

Mr Osborne, who subsequently lost weight through the surgery, said: “Anything that is of a medical nature where you can get screened for it or you believe you have got a problem you have to do it immediately. I was very, very fortunate.

“I would say to anybody 'go ahead and have it done' it is peace of mind at the end of the day and the NHS does put the health of individuals first.

“This particular thing with bowel cancer is done at home and you just send it to them and they look at it. It is just like breast screening and testing for cervical cancer, all of these areas are very, very important and should not be ignored.”

He had to take five weeks off from his duties as mayor with his deputy Sue Ayres standing in for him at civic events. But he is now back on his feet again and thanking everyone for their kind wishes and the consultants for their excellent work.

Hossein Khaled, NHS Suffolk's public health screening lead, also urged people to take the tests, which have been rolled out nationwide in response to 35,000 new cases being diagnosed every year.

“When the patient receives the information on the National Screening Programme for Bowel Cancer I would strongly recommend they participate,” he said. “It is very, very important and it is a very simple test carried out in the privacy of your own home.”

Once tests are completed they are sent back to the hub for the region based in Nottingham for analysis and if anything is found a further confirmation test will take place before referrals to experts.

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