Tam Cowan thanks his wife for 'saving his life' after bowel cancer test

Tam Cowan took to Instagram yesterday to urge people to take a bowel cancer test after his own “horrible” health scare.

The 50-year-old Off The Ball presenter tested positive for the disease after a routine check in the summer and underwent surgery.

Doctors discovered the Motherwell supporter had four potentially lethal growths – called polyps – in his bowel during a CT scan.

They later removed them during a colonoscopy – a procedure that Tam said probably saved his life.

And yesterday he posted a video on the social media site while holding up a leaflet that said: “This little test could save your life.”

Tam thanked his wife Liz for “badgering” him to take the test.

The father-of-one told The Daily Record: “The test arrived just before my 50th birthday in April and I waited until July to send the sample.

“I delayed because I’m a bloke and the whole thing seemed farcical.

Tam Cowan holds up a bowl cancer test during his Instagram appeal


“If it wasn’t for my wife badgering me to go through with it, it would probably still be sitting there now.

“I’m glad she did, because it’s probably the most important thing I’ve ever done.” Tam used a tinfoil Chinese takeaway box to collect his stool and sent it off in a presealed envelope.

But within a few weeks he got the shock news that he’d tested positive.

He said: “I thought that was it, that I had cancer, it was a horrible time.

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“The CT scan confirmed the worst and showed I had one large polyp in my upper bowel and three smaller ones in my lower bowel. They were removed during a colonoscopy, which wasn’t very pleasant – especially the laxatives and bowel cleaning before the test – and a few weeks later, thankfully, I got the all-clear.

“I will have to go back quite regularly now as I could be what’s known as a ‘polyp former’ and some of them may grow back and need sorting.”

He has now urged anyone who gets sent the test to do it and return it as soon as possible. He said: “I enjoy a bit of toilet humour but bowel cancer is no joking matter.

The test procedure for bowl cancer


“The test is very easy and clean to do. It only takes a few seconds and you get sent all the kit you need.

“Early detection is vital – this type of cancer is very treatable if it’s caught early.

“Don’t be a bloke and delay, like I did, get the test done and sent off immediately. It may save your life.”

Bowel cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women with approximately 3700 new cases diagnosed in 2017.


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