WHEN 41-year-old Carys Evans went to the GP with stomach pain, she never imagined finding out two days later she had stage 4 bowel cancer.

The mum-of-two from Usk first saw her doctor in June last year after noticing stitch-like pain and that she had been losing weight.

"I also felt fuller quicker and my belly button felt tender and turned into an outie, like when I was pregnant," she said.

“My GP said it sounded like gallstones and sent me for a scan two days later.

“I went to the Royal Gwent and the scan showed masses on my bowel and liver. The last thing I expected was to be told it was cancer.”

Ms Evans didn’t think she would be a candidate for bowel cancer due to her age and lifestyle.

She said: “It was a massive shock. I’m young. I would eat a healthy diet and was a keen runner and walker.

“That’s why it’s so important for me to raise awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer and encourage others to seek advice as early as possible if they experience any changes.”

Due to coronavirus restrictions, Ms Evans was on her own when she was told her cancer was incurable.

“That was really hard," she said.

"The doctor phoned my husband (Lee) to tell him the news and then he came to pick me up.

“Having treatment alone has also been really challenging.”


Ms Evans has completed six months of chemotherapy and is now receiving targeted treatment.

She remains passionate about helping other people affected by the disease and is backing Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at Home on Saturday, April 26.

Thousands of people from across the UKho have all vowed to run, walk or jog 5K either alone or in small, socially distanced groups this April and raise money for life-saving research.

Ms Evans was going to take part but has recently found out she has a small fracture in her pelvis.

“I’ve taken part in the Race for Life a couple of times," she said.

"But this year, due to COVID restrictions, we are being encouraged to take part in Race for Life at Home.

“I know first-hand how important it is to learn more about treating cancer, how it responds and how it can be managed.

"Please go and see your GP. Catching bowel cancer early vastly increases the likelihood of it being cured. Don’t delay or put off any concerns, even if those concerns are a bit embarrassing."

People can visit raceforlife.org to sign up to Race for Life at Home for £5* then receive a Race pack which includes a medal.  Money raised will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, helping to save more lives.  

  Cancer Research UK is predicting a staggering £300 million drop in income caused by COVID-19 over the next three years which could put future medical breakthroughs at risk.

All 400 mass-participation Race for Life events across the UK were cancelled last year to protect the country’s health during the pandemic.

Every year, around 19,300 people are diagnosed with the disease in Wales and one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will get cancer in their lifetime.

However, more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s. 

Ruth Amies, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for Wales, said: “Even whilst we’re still apart, we can unite against cancer.

“There are a million reasons to Race for Life at Home, to help save lives, for those who have had vital treatment delayed or just for a reason to get off the sofa. We want people to run, walk or jog 5K and raise money for life-saving research.

“The truth is, COVID-19 has slowed us down.  But we will never stop and we are absolutely determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.”

To sign up to Race for Life at Home this April, visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.