When David Flockhart’s first bowel cancer screening kit came in the mail when he turned 50, he did the test without hesitation.

“The test was very easy to do and I sent it back as soon as I could. I was pleased to do the test as I recognised its importance,” he said.

The results came back as negative.

However, at 54 when he did another test David received notification that his results had come back positive.

He had a colonoscopy in February 2020 where he had 14 polyps removed and a growth was discovered. He then underwent a CT scan. Less than a week later, David was told he had stage three bowel cancer.

“I was very shocked, scared and upset by the diagnosis. I was worried about how having a serious illness would impact my wife and my boys. I was also worried about my business and the financial challenges for the family,” Mr Flockhart said.

“The main impact during last year’s lockdowns was the difficulty of not seeing family and friends over the long six months during chemotherapy.”

Now 55, David wants to encourage others to do the bowel screening test and not put it off or forget about it.

Bowel screening is important as you may not have symptoms – you may feel completely fit and healthy like I did."

“Bowel cancer is a serious disease, but a very high percentage of people recover as long as the cancer is discovered early. The bowel screening test looks for these early signs of bowel cancer, this simple test could save your life.”

“If I had waited another year to do the bowel screening test, my stage three cancer would have likely progressed to a more challenging scenario – my story could have been very different.”

A year on from his operation and treatment, David said he feels “fantastic”. He is working full time and training hard in his kayak for the Australian Ocean Ski Racing Series.