Christopher Dean health: Star on cancer health scare – ‘worst two weeks of my life’

Dancing On Ice: Christopher Dean is impressed with Brendan

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The 63-year-old Dancing On Ice Judge started to experience severe stomach pains. For two weeks, while he was waiting to learn the cause of his symptoms, he was unsure whether he was “going to live or die”. The condition he had is known for turning into a much-more sinister disease if left untreated.

After experiencing the pain in his stomach, Dean found a 2cm growth in his colon.

Bowel polyps, as they’re called by doctors, are small growths inside the lining of the large intestine that are common – affecting one in four men.

They have the potential to turn into cancer, although according to the NHS this is unusual.

Because of the cancer risk, a biopsy is needed to double-check the growth.

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While he was waiting for his growth, the Olympic ice skater found himself contemplating his own life.

“I found myself preparing for the fact I might have a life-changing illness,” he told the Mirror in 2017.

“For two weeks, I thought I might need a serious operation that would have involved taking away a good chunk of my stomach.

“It was the longest two weeks of my life not knowing if I was going to live or die.

“It was a scary prospect being faced with my own mortality.”

In the end, the results were a “relief” for Dean. It had shown that the growth was benign.

“I have been told that I need to have a check-up every five years.

But the body is an amazing tool and it strives to repair itself as much as it can,” he added.

Some kinds of polyps can eventually become cancerous if left untreated – these are known as adenomas.

The NHS explains that most bowel cancers are suspected to come from these types of polyps.

The health body recommends that all polyps are treated because of this cancer risk.

One of the main treatments for these growths is a colonoscopy in which a tube is moved from your bottom into your bowel.

An electrical current is moved through the tube and burns or cuts off the polyp in a painless procedure.

The Mayo Clinic identifies the following main symptoms of a bowel polyp: rectal bleeding, a change in the colour of your stool, as well as a change in bowel habits.

As Dean suggested, polyps can be removed through surgery. This normally occurs if the polyp is large or there are many of them.

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