‘It’s not a sexy cancer’: Police worker and mum-of-two reveals she has incurable bowel cancer – after being declared free of the crushing disease
- Queensland Police officer opens up about battle with stage four bowel cancer
- Bek Smith now sharing her story to raise awareness and need for early detection
- First diagnosed in 2017 before she was told in 2019 her cancer was incurable
A mother-of-two with incurable bowel cancer has stressed the need for early detection of the disease, after she was diagnosed just 12 months after seemingly being declared cancer-free.
Bek Smith, who works for Queensland Police as a civilian officer, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in May 2017.
She had two operations and had been cancer-free for a year when she was dealt a crushing blow 12 months ago that it had spread to her lungs and was now inoperable.
The hardest thing for her and husband Kris was breaking the news to their daughters Riley, 14 and Annika, 11.
The Queensland Police community has rallied around civillian officer Bek Smith, (pictured with husband Kris and daughters Annika and Riley) as her brave fight with bowel cancer continues
‘It was worse than hearing it the first time,’ Ms Smith, 45, told Daily Mail Australia.
‘We’d already gone through stage four and were in a positive head space coming up to 12 months of no evidence of the cancer.
‘To get that diagnosis back was devastating as we were making plans for the future.’
As her brave fight for survival continues, Ms Smith wants to share her heartbreaking story to raise public awareness in the hope of saving more lives.
She also continues to work at Logan Police Station in administrative duties.
The tumours have since shrunk by half following more chemotherapy, giving Ms Smith hope there will be a cure.
‘We refer to it as incurable cancer, we’ve never said it’s terminal as we don’t know what will happen in the future,’ she said.
‘I hope to live as long as possible.’
Bec Smith said her diagnosis has brought her close-knit family (pictured) closer together
Colleagues created the Blessings for Bek Facebook page to raise funds for the family and cancer awareness.
Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia, which claimed more than 5,500 lives in Australia last year.
‘I hate to say it, it’s not like a sexy cancer,’ Ms Smith told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s a cancer no one talks about as discussing poo and the side effects aren’t nice.’
‘There’s also a misconception it only affects old people. There are people in their 20s diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer and they’re dying. It affects people of all ages.’
Ms Smith urged everyone to listen to their bodies while stressing the emphasis of early detection.
Bec Smith’s husband of 15 years Kris (pictured, together), is also an officer with the Queensland Police Force
Originally reluctant to share her cancer battle, Bec Smith (pictured) now hopes to share her experience with others to raise awareness and stress the need of early detection
She began bravely speaking out about her diagnosis in the hope it can help others.
‘If it means one person goes and get checked, and their journey ends up different to mine, then it’s worth it,’ she told Seven News.
‘If it means that their family don’t have to carry that weight of their diagnosis with them every day, then to me it’s worth it. That’s what it’s about.’
The Queensland Police community has rallied around her and her husband Kris, who’s a police officer at Cleveland Police Station in the south-east of Brisbane.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when two of her colleagues shaved their heads in a show of support at an emotional fundraiser this week for the family which raised $16,000.
Bec Smith (pictured) was told her cancer was incurable in May 2019. She remains hopeful of a cure