Burnley FC striker Jonathan Walters' bowel cancer check-up plea

Jonathan Walters
Jonathan Walters
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Clarets striker Jonathan Walters is urging supporters not to shy away from having bowel cancer tests and has revealed that he has regular check-ups after the disease claimed the life of his mother.

Now, he is hoping that his own experience could help save lives across the area.

In a series of frank and candid posts on Twitter, he urged anybody with a family history of the "vile disease" to have regular testing.

He tweeted to his 86,000 followers: “Yesterday I went for a colonoscopy. My Mum, Helen passed away aged 40 of bowel cancer and because of her age I need to be checked regularly for any abnormalities of my bowel. To raise awareness of this monstrous disease I’m going to share my experience.”

“Go on our amazing @nhs website to get any information required and please speak to your GP. It was 23 years ago that my mum passed away. With the advances in medicine since then, I would like to envisage that taking my advice could help save your life.”

In another message he said: “I’ve shared this with you for a reason. Colonoscopies aren’t a joke and neither is bowel cancer. It’s vile disease that can be prevented with some education and awareness on early signs of the disease. There’s no shame in doing what I’ve done."

Figures released by the NHS reveal that only 61% of people in East Lancashire who are entitled to free bowel cancer screening actually take up the offer.