A Geraldton volunteer is urging the community to have regular check-ups, speak to their doctor and take symptoms seriously after discovering he had a series of bowel tumours that could have cost his life last year. Geraldton Marine Rescue commander Damien Healy was 45 years old when he felt something wasn’t right in his body and made the decision to talk to his doctor. Mr Healy also removed a benign tumour from his brain at the beginning of the year, but said if he hadn’t decided to get a colonoscopy when he did thanks to the Find Cancer Early campaign, his doctor told him he wouldn’t live past 50. “I had been seeing some blood in my poo and knew something wasn’t right for a while, and in the back of my mind I kept thinking about the Find Cancer Early advertisements,” he said. “I made the decision to talk to my doctor about it late last year and requested a colonoscopy.” The emergency service volunteer said the doctor discovered unusual growths that had developed into a life-threatening cancer. “They found five polyps, including a giant one that contained a tumour that was one millimetre away from the lining of my bowel,” he said. “My surgeon told me if I had waited any longer to do anything, I would not have made it to 50.” Mr Healy said today, he was still managing fatigue and recovering from his operation, and urged the community not to delay visiting a doctor for a cancer check-up. “Know your own body, if you think there is something wrong go and get checked,” he said. According to the Cancer Council WA, the Find Cancer Early campaign showed out of 953 regional West Australians surveyed, 69.8 per cent had seen the Find Cancer Early advertisements and just under 10 per cent visited a doctor. Cancer Council WA recommends seeing a medical professional if you have symptoms of blood in your poo, blood in your pee, or you’ve coughed up blood.