Bowel cancer: ‘My digestion started to get a bit funny’ – Adele Roberts on first symptoms

Bowel cancer describes cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on the cancer’s exact location, it is also referred to as colon or rectal cancer. The serious condition is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, with around 42,900 cases diagnosed yearly.

Adele told ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB): “It was a shock; I didn’t realise I could get cancer and I know that sounds silly.

“Because now I know it can happen to anyone at any age.

“But I was pretty much vegetarian, I ran all the time, I tried to keep fit and well and eat the right things.

“I started to notice my digestion started to get a bit funny.”

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The DJ star recollected how her cancer started: “I just noticed that when I was going to the toilet things started to change.

“And I noticed mucus at first and then I started to notice a bit of blood and then it started to get a bit more regular.

“I thought, should I ring the doctor or should I not because Covid was happening and I didn’t want to bother the GP.

“In the end, it got so consistent that I thought I better just call up just in case.”


The NHS details that in many cases the symptoms of bowel cancer are “subtle” and don’t make you “feel ill”.

The most common symptoms of this type of cancer include:

  • Persistent change in bowel habits (pooing more often or poos that are looser, runnier)
  • Blood in the poo
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Bloating always brought on by eating.

More than 90 percent with this diagnosis will suffer from either one or a combination of these symptoms.

If symptoms like these persist for three weeks, you should see your GP, the health service recommends.

Adele also shared the good news she got in October about the progress in her cancer diagnosis with ITV’s audience.

She said: “They’ve managed to remove the tumour which was incredible, the NHS have been awesome.

“I was able to get back into a good routine, get back to Radio 1 and get on chemotherapy.

“I see the chemotherapy as my little snipers, getting rid of anything that might be left.”

The DJ shared that based on the news about the successful surgery and ongoing chemotherapy, she’s hoping she’ll be back to her old self by the middle of 2022.

Chemotherapy and surgery aren’t the only available treatments for bowel cancer.

The NHS states that based on your individual case, you might be offered radiotherapy or biological treatments as well.

Adele urged viewers: “Please get checked, don’t be shy, the doctors are really brilliant and they will look after you.”