Former MP John Barrett talks about his Cancer – and how screening saved his life

I know that many party members across the country will be concerned to hear that popular former Edinburgh West Lib Dem MP John Barrett has recently had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his colon. He’s decided to talk about his experience in order to persuade others not just to leave the screening kit the NHS sends to over 50s to one side gathering dust, but to make sure they use it.

He spoke to the Scotsman about what he’s gone through and his forthcoming chemotherapy. It’s obviously been a huge shock and upheaval, but he’s recovering well from the operation and hopefully in a few months time, this will all be just a bad memory.

John is certain that if he hadn’t taken advantage of the screening programme, it could all have been so much worse. He literally had no idea that anything was wrong as he felt perfectly healthy.

“Had the screening not picked it up. I would be sailing along in blissful ignorance while the tumour was growing.

“So although it’s not a pleasant experience and it was major surgery and now I’m about to start chemotherapy, the alternative would have been five years from now feeling pains in my tummy and the news could have been much worse.”

John has always been a popular figure at Party Conferences, Scottish and Federal – something to do with his wicked sense of humour, I think and I know that many of you reading this will want to wish him well. If you would like to send him a card, please post it to c/o Scottish Liberal Democrats, 4 Clifton Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5DR and I’ll make sure he gets it.

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One Comment

  • I am so sorry to hear this but pleased to know that John is well on the way to recovery.

    I would endorse his appeal for people to use the Bowel Screening Kit when it is sent out. I have now completed it twice – it is well worth the effort. It is not painful and is simple to do.

    I would urge anyone who receives their kit to deal with it straight away – use it!
    John’s story is a testament to the value of screening and at an early enough age!

    I am sure we all wish John well again and hope to see him among us again soon!

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