Adele Roberts on her bowel cancer journey and the powerful lessons it taught her

Being diagnosed with stage two bowel cancer would be daunting for any of us - but Adele Roberts has managed to find the positive.

The Radio 1 DJ told us that while it sounds odd to say that there is a 'great' thing to come from her finding out she has the disease, she is so thankful to the new people who have come in to her life, as well as her devoted partner, Kate.

We caught up with her after our shoot for a short film, My Body My Story. Here, Adele shares her inspirational journey from diagnosis, to treatment and realising the power of her body even while fighting cancer.

‘We didn’t think it was cancer,’ Adele begins. ‘A lot of the symptoms for bowel cancer, especially in women, can be confused for other things that we [women] go through so I had a lot of bloating, a lot of cramping, and a sore tummy so I didn’t realise it could be cancer.’

The initial diagnosis came as a shock to Adele and her partner, Kate, with both of them thinking that Adele was too young to have cancer. After receiving the news, they had to wait a week to receive more results on whether the cancer was treatable and whether it had spread to other parts of Adele’s body.

‘It was probably the most terrifying week of my life,’ shares Adele. 'Then I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in October 2021 and then by the end of that month I'd had a low anterior resection which is a part of my colon removed to take out the cancer tumour,' she shares.

However this wasn’t even the hardest part of her experience: 'The toughest moment for me, in terms of cancer, was telling my mum. It broke my heart.’

<span class="photo-credit">Hearst Owned</span>
Hearst Owned

'While that's healing I've gained a new friend who I call Audrey and she's an ileostomy so she's my little stoma she lives in a little bag she's very naughty quite a lot of the time. She keeps me on my toes but I absolutely love her and she's actually saving my life so I'm very grateful that the doctors could put her in for me.'

Throughout her cancer journey, Adele has shared her experience with Audrey on her social media with funny insights and inspirational stories on her new ‘normal’ way of healthy living.

‘Health can mean so many different things and it doesn’t have to be this perfect utopia in this perfect body,’ says Adele. ‘I’ve never been so in love with my body. My stoma has made me realise how lucky I am to have a body that works.’

Adele adds: ‘Just because I’ve got a stoma, doesn’t mean to say I’m not healthy.’

She’s got a pretty inspirational attitude, right? Well, Adele doesn’t want to take credit for her positive attitude, naming her partner, Kate, the NHS, and people on social media for keeping up her spirits by sharing their own stories with cancer.

'I found a lot of people online. One great thing about cancer, if there is a great thing, is that it's helped me find people that are going through it like me,' she shares. 'Cancer's brought so many good people into my life whether that's people in the NHS or people on social media I feel like my faith in humanity has been restored a hundred fold.'

Now, she’s on the road to recovery, Adele is sharing her experience with new hurdles and new surgeries on Instagram as well as encouraging her followers to keep a look out for symptoms and get checked by a GP regularly.

‘Early detection saves lives,’ she says. ‘Don’t be shy, go and see your GP. They’re not going to judge you, they’re going to help you.

Adele adds: ‘To anyone who’s going through cancer or a really scary health challenge I just want you to know that you’re not alone and there are so many people out there you can find that can help you get through it.’

You can watch the full My Body My Story with Adele in the player above.


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