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Adam Rix talks about his experience of bowel cancer screening

Haringey resident Adam Rix is 58 and retired last year after a career in IT. In his free time he travels extensively, particularly in the Middle East. This was his first-time taking part in the bowel cancer screening programme.

“When the kit arrived in the post, I initially struggled to remember what FIT (faecal immunochemical test) was. But once I read the blurb, I didn’t need convincing.

When I got the call that I needed to go in for follow-up, of course, I was anxious. I had a feeling of “why me”, that I was one of the only two in a hundred that has an abnormal result.

The wait for the colonoscopy was maybe two weeks, three at the most. It was easy to get to UCLH

The colonoscopy itself wasn’t painful. I’d say I felt only minor discomfort. To be honest, I found the hospital workings and logistics fascinating. During the procedure itself I was more interested in the equipment – it must be my IT background!

A screen was flashing. I asked what it was and was told it was new equipment and they were training Artificial Intelligence (AI) in spotting cancer. I felt lucky to have a top colonoscopist with cutting-edge technology. I was also happy to help the NHS with the training, and that my health procedure was benefitting others.

Following my all-clear results, I’ll have further screening in a couple of years.

I would tell anyone who’s got their FIT test but hasn’t done it yet, to go for it. It’s good to know you have a clean bill of health, and even if the results are bad, it’s better to know.

That’s the way I am – I think it’s always better to know.”

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