November 28, 2023

Doug is a bowel cancer patient and vocal advocate for men’s health. He was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in September of this year. Since then, he has been sharing his story, treatment and symptoms on his Instagram and encouraging men to talk about their health even if it is uncomfortable.

“All you men out there, if you are finding you are going to the toilet more than three times a day… ‘alarm bells’… get checked out…My tumour was quite a big one, and it had been sitting there for a couple of years… Shit, I’m lucky it wasn’t an aggressive one… That’s why I’d like to have more conversations about men and your poos.”

When Doug was first diagnosed, he thought, “Why me? How can this happen? I am fit and healthy. There were no real symptoms and nothing in the family.

“Why did I not go to my doctor sooner about the change in my bowel movements and take the male attitude of ‘she will be right.’ “

“At this stage, it affected [my family] greatly as heading into the unknown, but currently, we try to live a normal life as much as possible, take it day by day and do not let the big word C come that main topic in the house.”

Since sharing his updates on social media, Doug has had a great response. “It’s been amazing in regard to the support and also learning that there really is a shit load of other people going through the same things as you, and it’s helped me to get through the “why me” and acceptance stage sooner.”

Doug is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. He shares his advice and feelings about it, “leading up to the treatment, that’s where the anxiety can be a bit overwhelming. [You are] bombarded with information from specialists. Remember, every person is different, so don’t overthink it. Make sure you have good support around you.

“Everyone will react differently to the treatments and some people will react and others it doesn’t. I can only suggest that you listen and take on board what [the medical professionals] say but not google, overthink or overanalyse, as it can affect you mentally.

“This is a mental and physical fight to get through this.”

Along with the video updates, Doug will share his story at a corporate dinner, where $20 from every ticket will be donated to Bowel Cancer New Zealand.

It is vital we continue this mahi, spread awareness and have the hard conversations.

You can follow his journey on his social media –