Medical staff at Dolgellau Hospital have made calls to raise awareness of the bowel screening process in the farming community.

The call comes after a farmer from Powys was diagnosed with the disease as a result of attending one of the sessions.

David Bebb, 74, took part in the screening process for the fifth time in April of this year.

Later the same month he received word that he had tested positive for the disease.

Mr Bebb said: “It was a real surprise when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, I didn’t have any of the symptoms which are usually linked with the disease.

“I am very lucky, if I had not taken the test I still may not have known I had cancer and I could have been in a much worse position.

Nurse Anne Thomas, who is based at Dolgellau Hospital said: “We go to farmers markets and farming fairs to raise awareness of support available for mental well-being and more recently, we have used this as an opportunity to raise awareness of the bowel screening programme in Wales.

“We have had an extremely positive response, especially that they can ring the helpline for another test kit if they have thrown the original away. We hope that by raising awareness of the benefits of bowel screening and early reporting of symptoms that the numbers of farmers presented with advanced bowel cancer will decrease.”

Colorectal nurse practitioner Yvonne Whittaker said: “I think it’s very brave of Mr Bebb to speak publicly about his diagnosis in the hope it will encourage more farmers and others to take part in the screening process.

“He is absolutely right when he says that if the cancer is caught early there is much more of a chance it can be cured with less invasive treatment.”

Bowel Screening Wales invites men and women between the ages of 60 and 74, and who are living in Wales, for a simple bowel screening test every two years which they can complete at home and receive the results within two weeks.”