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Young teacher shares story about cancer diagnosis and treatment

A young bowel cancer patient is looking forward to starting a family next year after having her eggs frozen during treatment for the disease.


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Rebecca Rose Price is sharing her life-changing story to encourage younger people to be alert to potential symptoms and seek medical advice.

The 27-year-old special educational needs and disabilities teacher from Birmingham has also thanked Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust cancer teams for getting her through her surgery and treatment.

Ms Price has spent her life going back and forth to hospital with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, but bowel cancer never crossed her mind because she is young and eats a balanced diet.

Her diagnosis came after she made the difficult decision to undergo surgery to remove her large intestine to stop her pain, then after this life-changing operation, she also received life-changing news.

Ms Price said: “Although I went through major surgery and ended up on intensive care several times, I felt more prepared for that as both myself and my doctor spoken in-depth about this before having surgery.

“No-one and nothing can prepare you to be told you have cancer.

"I thought it was just my other illness flaring up. My whole world stood still.

“Almost a year later to the day it is a word that still haunts me, and I believe to an extent it always will.

"But I believe through this journey I have learnt a lot about myself and what I am capable of.”

After Ms Price's surgery and her coming to terms with living with a colostomy bag, she was told she needed several rounds of chemotherapy to fight the cancer, before having more surgery to remove her rectum.

Knowing she wanted to start a family one day, and the chances of chemotherapy decreasing her fertility, Ms Price and her partner, Stefan, decided to freeze her eggs before this started.

She received three cycles to retrieve as many eggs as possible and describes her experience as “incredible” as this process could mean she has a baby one day.

Now Ms Price has gone through surgery, chemotherapy, and battled sepsis, she is in recovery and is able to start the process of trying for a baby next year.

Kate Adams, colorectal clinical nurse specialist at Walsall Healthcare, said: “Age is not a barrier. If you are concerned, please seek medical advice.

“The Colorectal Nursing Team is glad to be able to help Rebecca to start the process of egg retrieval prior to treatment.”

Ms Price said she is planning on having a permanent colostomy bag which will allow her to live a healthy life and is in the process of “finding herself and her new body”, as well as recovering from major surgery.

As well as praising her partner for being her rock, she is also commending staff at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for being her “medical rocks” and getting her through the hardest time of her life.

She said: “The staff at Walsall Oncology and Chemotherapy Unit have been amazing.

"I have to say a massive thank you to them and to the Sepsis and Acute Oncology Nurses who were so amazing to me and have taken care of me since the chemotherapy and sepsis.

"They all fought so hard to support me alongside my family through this journey.

“My workplace has also been incredible throughout this difficult time which I’m so grateful for.”

The NHS has produced a list about the symptoms of bowel cancer, which includes changes in stools, stomach pain, loss of weight without trying and feeling very tired for no reason.

For further information, go to the NHS website at

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