RETIRED IT engineer John Alexander experienced the benefits of screening first-hand when his bowel cancer was detected in 2019.

Abnormalities were found after Mr Alexander returned the home test kit which is sent out every two years to all Scots aged 50 to 74.

Uptake ranges from 53 per cent in the most deprived parts of Scotland to 73% in the wealthiest areas.

The diagnosis was confirmed in November 2019 as a result of follow-up tests at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow.

Mr Alexander, from Govan, said: "Of course it was a shock at first to hear the words cancer. However I didn’t know it back then but that day was actually the first step on my road to recovery."

READ MORE: 5000 cancer cases could be prevented every year in Scotland if deprivation gap closed 

Initially Mr Alexander was told he may need surgery on his colon, but tests went on to show that the cancer had vanished following three months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in early 2020.

His only requirement now are regular check ups. In October 2021, Mr Alexander and wife Alice celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

He is also back enjoying time with his friends at Men's Shed Govan, a support group which he co-founded in 2017 to offer help and advice to men who are retired, unemployed or unfit to work. 

Mr Alexander said: “The doctor told me the tumour had gone and all that was left was a bit of scarring.

"When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I’d fully expected to have surgery. It was such a relief to discover that the treatment had worked."

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