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Former teacher in campaign for people to screen themselves for bowel cancer

A RETIRED teacher who has survived bowel cancer has backed a drive for people to complete their routine screening at home after he was diagnosed through one of the test kits.

Rob Daly, from the Isle of Barra, was jogging regularly and eating healthily when he completed the bowel screening in 2012 and was "shocked" when he received a phone call two weeks later to say that the results had suggested he had cancer.

Three days later he flew to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and said he was in a "complete daze" as he had "no signs or symptoms whatsoever".

He said: "It was such a shock. No family history; very healthy diet, jogging, by this time, four or five miles, six days a week. I was probably then, fitter than I had ever been in my adult life.

"I thought the first time I did the test that it would be silly not to but I never thought for a minute that I might test positive."

He needed chemotherapy, which began in January 2013 and finished in May last year, and two bouts of surgery to link the end of the small intestine to an internal pouch. He is now back running again and said he is "looking forward to having a long and active life".

Mr Daly, 62, said: "I would urge everybody to take the test. I'm now looking forward to having a long and active life. My dad is 92 and my consultant said he sees no reason why I shouldn't make it that far.

"Right now, I'm just getting back to the fitness level I was at last October. The internal plumbing needs to settle down a bit, but it isn't going to stop me doing anything."

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland after lung and breast cancer. Every year, almost 4,000 people are diagnosed with the disease.

Everyone in Scotland between the ages of 50 to 74 can be checked for the disease by taking part in a screening programme.

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