Farmer’s surprise bowel cancer diagnosis highlights value of screening
After Graeme Wall received an invitation in the mail to test for bowel cancer, he left the testing kit on the dinner table for six weeks.
The dairy farmer, from Ōtorohanga, felt no urgency. Aged 62, he had no family history of cancer, no risk factors, and no symptoms. He was fit and healthy and got up each morning around 6am to work in the milking sheds on his 115-hectare farm.
As the testing kit gathered dust on the table, a tiny cancerous lump was growing inside his bowel.
In May, he eventually decided to send off a stool sample, which came back positive. A colonoscopy confirmed his cancer diagnosis. It was a shock to his partner Bridget and his two children.
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