...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
Dean Gaffney, former EastEnders actor and participant on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, has revealed that the reality show’s medical checks in 2020 detected signs of bowel cancer.
Gaffney, who appeared on the show in 2006 and returned for the all-stars version this year, credits the I’m A Celebrity medical team with saving his life by identifying polyps in his large intestine that required immediate surgery.
The Life-Saving Discovery:
Gaffney underwent medical examinations in 2020 as part of the preparations for his potential participation in I’m A Celebrity at Gwrych Castle in North Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During these checks, doctors discovered several polyps in his large intestine, leading to the need for urgent surgical intervention.
Gaffney expressed gratitude to the show and its medical team, emphasizing that their early detection of the polyps likely saved his life.
The Impactful Diagnosis:
Gaffney, who was on standby to join the show as a replacement for any campmate who contracted COVID-19, was informed in September 2020 that he had secured the role.
In October, he underwent routine blood tests as part of the required medical assessment.
The results revealed that he was experiencing blood loss, initially suspected to be related to anemia or iron deficiency.
However, further examination unveiled the presence of significant polyps, including one that measured approximately 20mm in size.
A Life-Saving Intervention:
Following the diagnosis, Gaffney underwent surgery to remove the polyps.
He shared that the doctors expressed some frustration, questioning why he had not noticed blood in his stool.
They warned him that had he not sought medical attention when he did, the polyps could have developed into bowel cancer within three years.
Gaffney considers himself fortunate to have received timely medical intervention and expressed a desire to raise awareness of the disease.
Inspired to Raise Awareness:
Drawing inspiration from Dame Deborah James, a BowelBabe fundraiser who passed away at the age of 40 in June 2022, Gaffney aims to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
He admires James for her fight against the disease and the impact she made in increasing awareness.
Gaffney hopes to contribute in his own way to raising awareness among men, acknowledging the importance of early detection and proactive healthcare.
Dean Gaffney’s account highlights the crucial role that medical checks during his involvement in I’m A Celebrity played in identifying his bowel cancer.
The story showcases the potential of reality shows to bring attention to health issues and emphasizes the significance of routine medical examinations.
Gaffney’s gratitude toward the show’s medical team and his intention to raise awareness demonstrate the personal impact of his experience and the importance of advocating for proactive healthcare measures.
This narrative also serves as a reminder of the significance of early detection in preventing the progression of potentially life-threatening conditions.
Gaffney’s case emphasizes the importance of seeking medical attention when experiencing concerning symptoms, even if they appear minor.
His admiration for Dame Deborah James and his desire to contribute to raising awareness illustrate the lasting impact that individuals who share their experiences can have on public health initiatives.
Dean Gaffney’s story highlights the intersection of reality television, personal health journeys, and the potential for individuals to use their platform to promote awareness and proactive healthcare practices.