Monica Raises Awareness of Bowel Cancer Symptoms In Memory of Young Constituent  

Image of Ryan Brown who passed away aged 23, 13 days after diagnosis of Bowel Cancer

Monica is encouraging constituents across Lanarkshire to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer.  

With the shocking news that nearly four in ten people cannot name a single symptom of bowel cancer, Monica is using Bowel Cancer Awareness month to highlight the symptoms so that more people can be diagnosed earlier when it is more treatable and curable.  

This is a cause close to the heart of Monica, after working closely with the family of Harthill resident Ryan Brown. At the age of 23, Ryan was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer, having suffered with ulcerative colitis for over 10 years.  

Ryan was very aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer and pushed for regular check-ups with his GP and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) nurse.  Unfortunately, due to Ryan’s age and medical history his symptoms were initially dismissed, and his cancer was identified far too late. Ryan tragically died 13 days after his diagnosis. The Brown family, including Ryan’s twin sister Hope, want to highlight that bowel cancer can be more aggressive and spread more rapidly in younger people, but often it is found too late.  

They want to ensure that people under 50 know the signs and symptoms and that healthcare professionals are more aware of how this disease can impact younger people. 

Monica commented: 

“It has never been more important to raise awareness of the signs of bowel cancer because fewer than 1 in 4 people are diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 and we know that early detection is key to survival.  

“The death of my young constituent Ryan Brown really hit home that bowel cancer can strike at any age. The Brown family have shone a light on the assumptions that can be made about younger people, and I pay tribute to them for challenging the medical profession and the public to think again. 

“More than 2,600 people under 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year and this number is slowly increasing, so it is vital to improve awareness and increase resources. 

“Through their tireless campaigning in Ryan’s memory, the Brown family are helping to save lives.

“Knowing the symptoms of bowel cancer could save your life and charities such as Bowel Cancer UK need our support to raise this vital awareness.”