First Dates’ Merlin details ‘crucial’ thing that could have beaten cancer sooner

Merlin Griffiths, who has appeared as a bartender on Channel 4’s First Dates for 10 years, is working with the NHS to raise awareness about cancer symptoms and to encourage the public to be more body aware. The 48-year-old was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in September 2021 and underwent chemotherapy and two operations to remove the tumour.

Speaking about the new Help Us, Help You campaign, Merlin has shared a “crucial” piece of advice that could have made his cancer more treatable.

The bartender said: “I know from my own experience that being body aware is crucial to an earlier cancer diagnosis and could make it more treatable.

“We all need to be comfortable with noticing bodily changes that could be a sign of cancer and speak to a GP practice as soon as possible – the NHS is here for you whatever the result.

“That’s why I’m pleased the NHS Bus-ting Cancer Tour is visiting Coventry, where I was treated, and bringing this important message directly to the public.”

READ MORE: Julia Bradbury upsets family member as she strips off on TV after cancer battle

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A post shared by Merlin Griffiths (@merlinfdc4)

The blue double-decker bus toured the UK last week to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and urge people to visit their GP for potentially life-saving checks if they notice something unusual.

The huge bus highlighted that of the 78 passengers the bus can carry, 65 would survive cancer if found at the earliest stage.

It comes as new survey data found that five people wouldn’t make a GP appointment if they noticed a change they thought could be cancer. The survey of 2000 adults also found a quarter would wait to see if a potential symptom gets better on its own or ignore it and hope it goes away.

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Merlin Griffiths says he is ‘doing well’ after Bowel cancer diagnosis

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TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones is also supporting the Bus-ting cancer tour. He said: “Diagnosing cancer as early as possible means it is more likely to be treated successfully. If something in your body doesn’t feel right, contact your GP practice. Until you find out, you can’t rule it out and the NHS is here for you whatever the result.”

In June, Merlin was inundated with support when he announced that he had received the all-clear.

He shared alongside a photograph of a CT scan: “Final Year 1 scan results are in, and it’s ALL CLEAR for now. Nice. Thank you # NHS #bowelcancerawareness.”

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