24th Apr, 2019

GP's life-changing challenge is no laughing matter

Ian Hughes 14th Apr, 2019

A GP from Stratford will become one of the first men to take part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in June – right after giving a speech about poo.

Dr Jim McMorran got up on stage in front of more than 2,000 women participants at last year’s Stoneleigh event to talk about the importance of bowel screening.

He challenged everyone with a friend or relative between the ages of 60 and 74 to go home and ‘have the poo conversation’. In other words, encourage someone they knew to complete the free bowel testing kit which involves sending a sample of poo in the post for testing.

The speech was so well received that Dr McMorran, who works at Kenyon Medical Centre in Coventry, has been asked back to speak again at Race for Life in Stoneleigh Park on Sunday June 30.

But this time he will also join in the 5k event alongside the women to help raise vital funds for research into cancer. This year marks the first time in the history of the 18-year-old event that men will be allowed to take part.

Dr McMorran, one of 13 Strategic GP Leads funded by Cancer Research UK to help improve earlier diagnosis of cancer, said: “We can laugh about the idea of a poo test but the fact is that ninety per cent of people diagnosed with bowel cancer through a testing kit will survive for more than five years. That compares to just 30 per cent of people who are diagnosed after an emergency presentation with symptoms such as swelling in their tummy or uncontrolled loose bowels.

“So my challenge to people is – can you be the one to encourage your friend or family member to return their test kit? Will you have the poo conversation?

“That’s a powerful message to give in front of nearly 3,000 people who are all so passionate about beating cancer that they’re doing the Race for Life.

“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer, at some point during their lifetime, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, has been at the heart of that progress.”

To enter Race for Life today visit raceforelife.org or call 0300 123 0770.

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