This Morning’s Dr Philippa, 40, reveals secret bowel cancer battle after undergoing surgery during lockdown

17 September 2020, 12:18

Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Dr Philippa Kaye spoke openly about her bowel cancer diagnosis and on-going treatment for the first time this week on This Morning.

This Morning’s Dr Philippa was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year, and is undergoing a serious operation later this week.

The resident doctor joined Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on the ITV morning show on Wednesday, where she revealed her secret cancer battle over the past year and a half.

Philippa was diagnosed back in May 2019, with the doctor telling Holly and Phil she'll "never forget" the moment she saw the 'mass' on her scan.

Speaking on This Morning, she said: "When you are young, and even as a doctor you think 'this can't be cancer'."

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Dr Philippa told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield she is undergoing a final surgery at the end of this week
Dr Philippa told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield she is undergoing a final surgery at the end of this week. Picture: ITV

After being diagnosed with the cancer, Philippa underwent a big operation before enduring six months of chemotherapy.

She revealed that at this point she hoped they would be done, but that she will be going in for a final operation later this week.

She explained: "At that point we hoped that we were done, but unfortunately there is a legion that is still growing and I am going in for a whopper at the end of this week, a 10-12 hour surgery.

"But sometimes you have to hurt to heal. This is going to be it I hope, and that will be the first step to recovery."

When caught early, bowel cancer has a 90 per cent rate of survival, Phil and Holly explained
When caught early, bowel cancer has a 90 per cent rate of survival, Phil and Holly explained. Picture: ITV

Philippa's treatment continued through lockdown, although she did say it was very "tough" to undergo surgery and treatment alone in the hospital, something she will have to do again at the end of the week.

Talking about how her family have taken the news and the treatment, Philippa said: "We've always been incredibly honest and open about what is going on [with our children], so they can be honest too."

She continued: "For loved ones in general, friends and family, they hate to see us in pain, and the truth is you can be positive and you can be resilient and you can be strong, and sometimes it sucks, and sometimes it hurts and sometimes you have a bad day.

"What we really need is for you to be able to hear that from us, and instead if trying to make it better, instead of that constant message of positivity, to sometimes say 'I know, I'm sorry and I'm here'. And for me, that helps an incredible amount."

This Morning’s Dr Philippa said she'll 'never forget' the moment she saw the 'mass' on the can
This Morning’s Dr Philippa said she'll 'never forget' the moment she saw the 'mass' on the can. Picture: ITV

When caught early, bowel cancer has a 90 per cent rate of survival.

The doctor encouraged people to visit their GP if they experience any of the following: blood in poo, change in bowel habits or persistent stomach aches, bloating or discomfort.

She added that these symptoms do not mean you have bowel cancer, but should be checked out by your doctor.

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