BBC newsreader George Alagiah has revealed that he’s once again undergoing treatment for bowel cancer.
The broadcaster will still be presenting BBC News at Six but may have to reduce his appearances over the coming weeks.
2 George Alagiah has revealed that he’s undergoing treatment for bowel cancer again
George had 17 rounds of chemo back in 2014 to treat advanced bowel cancer.
The following year, he turned to his news reading duties.
Last January, he revealed that the cancer had returned.
Having presented on the channel for over ten years, he returned to the BBC newsroom this January for the first time since December 2017.
His agent, Mary Greenham said: “George Alagiah will aim to be on air as much as possible, but may need to reduce his workload in the next few weeks as he begins a new regime of treatment to deal with a recent recurrence of his cancer.
2 George returned to the BBC newsroom earlier this year and intends to do as much as he can while he has treatmentCredit: Refer to Caption
“He is always grateful to the public for the tremendous support he has received.”
Back in April, George spoke of how much harder he was finding having the disease a second time.
“I found it harder the second time,” he told the podcast In Conversation With George Alagiah.
“To be told it had come back was quite tough.”
But he said that recovery was a lot easier knowing that he was surrounded by his loving friends and family.
“It’s easier for us as patients then it is for those around us,” he went on.
“I’ve limited my life right down to 24 hours ahead, ‘Can I do what I need tomorrow? Yes I can.’
“Whereas for my wife and our sons, they are looking ahead, they’ve got their own lives to lead.
“But they also feel that they have to care for me and be sensitive to my needs as well.”
Bowel cancer is the UK’s forth most common cancer, killing 16,000 a year.
Symptoms of bowel cancer
IF it’s caught early, bowel cancer is very treatable, and has a good survival rate.
Those diagnosed at stage one – the earliest stage – have a 97 per cent chance of surviving for five years or more.
That plummets to just seven per cent if you’re diagnosed at stage four, when the cancer has spread.
A key to early diagnosis is knowing the signs to watch out for.
The red-flag signs that mean you could have bowel cancer are:
bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
a persistant and unexplained change in your bowel habits
unexplained weight loss
extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
a pain or lump in your tummy
Most people with these symptoms won’t have bowel cancer, BUT if you have one or more of these signs it’s vital to see your GP to get checked over.
In some cases, a tumour in the bowel can cause an obstruction, blocking digestive waste from passing through the bowel.
Symptoms of a bowel obstruction can include:
intermittent, and occasionally severe, abdominal pain – this is always provoked by eating
unintentional weight loss – with persistent abdominal pain
constant swelling of the tummy – with abdominal pain
vomiting – with constant abdominal swelling
A bowel obstruction is a medical emergency. If you suspect your bowel is obstructed, you should see your GP quickly.
If this isn’t possible, go to A&E.
The Sri Lankan-born presenter said in March of 2018 that a different screening service, available in Scotland, could have detected his cancer sooner and aided his treatment.
In Scotland, people are automatically screened for the disease from the age of 50.
In England, they used to get the test only from the age of 60 – something that The Sun vigorously campaigned to change.
MAN TO MAN The 11 questions every man needs to ask his dad, brothers and friends NOW LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON We both had cancer, our dads did too, now we’re #inspiringmen to talk ExclusiveNEVER TOO YOUNG I got bowel cancer at 24 after docs mistook symptoms for trapped wind CommentDEBORAH JAMES I’d do anything to ‘cure’ my cancer but alternative treatments are dangerous POO TABOO 1 in 3 Brits are constipated & at risk of serious illness but don’t know signs CommentDEBORAH JAMES I shouldn’t still be alive but running reminds me cancer hasn’t caught me yet BODY POSITIVE Deborah James on Lorraine in her underwear to promote body confidence CommentDEBORAH JAMES I was fit and healthy and STILL got bowel cancer – none of us are immune CANCER BUSTING Ditch diet drinks and 6 other diet rules to save yourself from cancer DYING WISH Brave mum loses cancer battle moments after asking family ‘look after my boys’ CommentDEBORAH JAMES Before cancer I was never happy with my body… now I couldn’t love it more
Thanks to our No Time 2 Lose campaign, the government agreed to lower the English screening age to match Scotland’s – but is yet to set it into practice.
George isn’t the only newsreader to find out that he’s living with an aggressive form of bowel cancer.
The BBC’s Middle Eastern correspondent Jeremy Bowen revealed back in April that he was undergoing bowel cancer treatment after having surgery to remove a tumour.
Jeremy Bowen did not have typical symptoms before getting his bowel cancer diagnosis
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