10 Famous Celebrities Battling Colon Cancer

On: January 7, 2020
In: Health
By: Abhishek Dey

1. Ben Richards

Ben Richards has opened up about his battle with bowel cancer, saying he dismissed unusual symptoms because he was a ‘typical man’ and dreaded the idea of going to a doctor about ‘that part’ of his body. But six months after ignoring the tell-tale signs he was undergoing emergency surgery as well as having chemotherapy and radiotherapy for aggressive bowel cancer.

‘I was just a total bloke about the situation,’ says Ben, 41, who has recently become ambassador for Bowel Cancer UK. Like most men I didn’t want to even think about going to a doctor and it wasn’t until my then wife Helen nagged me that I eventually saw my GP.’

Ben, who has starred in Footballers Wives, Holby City and The Bill, had been suffering with a small amount of blood in his stools and had noticed his bowel movements had changed. But he presumed that the blood was down to internal piles and his irregularity was due to the fact he had been traveling around India. In January 2012, Ben eventually listed the symptoms to his doctor, and he recommended Ben see a specialist as a matter of urgency. By chance Ben managed to get a last minute appointment with a private doctor within a few hours. The specialist advised a colonoscopy, to take a tissue sample from the bowel, and a CT scan.

Ben felt well and never thought for a second that his minor symptoms could be the signs of something as deadly as bowel cancer. A week later, Ben went for his tests at the Harpenden Spire Private Hospital. The scan immediately showed up a 6cm tumour in his bowel and he was diagnosed with cancer on the spot. Ben had been due to visit LA for work, but he was forced to cancel his plans to undergo emergency surgery. He also underwent a number of six-week cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Despite minor complications, he has made a full recovery and has been in remission for four months now. He now says he is feeling ‘better than ever’ although he does admit he has become more vigilant about his health.

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