A cancer survivor who owes her life to cancer screening is supporting a new awareness campaign.
Carol Ratcliffe, of Stanhill Road, Oswaldtwistle, is supporting a Cancer Research UK campaign highlighting the role of bowel cancer screening in helping to save lives.
The 69-year-old, who works part-time as a practice manager for a GP, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013 after completing a kit which arrived in the post.
The screening test produced an abnormal result, so Carol was invited for a colonoscopy, scan and biopsy.
She was diagnosed with bowel cancer and had surgery a month later, but fortunately the cancer did not spread and Carol needed no further treatment.
However, she will have regular check-ups for the next five years to monitor her progress.
The campaign posters advertising the screening packs will be widely displayed across Lancashire.
Carol hopes that they will help encourage more people to take part.
She said: “I know from personal experience that bowel cancer screening really can save lives.
“This was the third time I had taken part in bowel screening and I had no symptoms at all, so it was a shock when the results proved abnormal.
“I wouldn’t have my life now if it wasn’t for bowel cancer screening.”
Carol had always wanted to work in medicine and worked in the pathology labs at Blackpool’s Victoria Hospital for 36 years.
Carol said: “I love science and biochemistry, I wanted to do something different and I’m quite technically minded.”
Despite being nearly 70 Carol has no intention of stopping work.
“I enjoy work and I like to keep my mind active. If I retire I’ll miss the camaraderie of young people, they keep you in touch.”
Carol has been married for 36 years to Lancashire’s longest serving vicar; Michael Ratcliffe, the former vicar of St. Paul’s church in Oswaldtwistle.
The campaign is aimed at people aged 60-74 to encourage them to take part in the Bowel Cancer Screening programme.
People in this age bracket receive an NHS screening kit through the post every two years.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK North West spokesperson said: “The campaign emphasises the fact that completing the test is easier than people might think.”
Find out more at cruk.org.uk/bowelscreening.