First Dates’ Merlin reaches ‘important milestone’ as he shares cancer update

First Dates’ Merlin reaches ‘important milestone’ as he shares cancer update

First Dates barman Merlin Griffiths gave Lorraine viewers an update on his battle with bowel cancer, as he explained why he's raising awareness for bowel cancer symptoms.

The barman, who has become a much loved feature on First Dates on Channel 4, spoke with host Lorraine Kelly on his own battle with bowel cancer including two operations and a course of chemotherapy.

He told Lorraine that he had reached an "important milestone" as he celebrated one year where doctors had found NED (No Evidence of Disease).

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Appearing on Lorraine, he also showed off his adorable sidekick "Buttony Bear" who features a colostomy bag, just like Merlin had.

The bear is given to children who, like Merlin, have been fitted with a bag.

Speaking with Lorraine, he shared: "It's a really important milestone for anyone going through this is that first one year of scans, they take blood tests, CT scans, colonoscopy and so on.

"They check you and you're looking for this no evidence of disease, or no cancer seen which is for now all clear and we're into the five year monitoring."

The Channel 4 barman also showed off his scars from surgery to Lorraine, as he showed where his stoma previously was.

Viewers watching at home praised Merlin for his honesty, with one viewer sharing they were on a similar journey as they tweeted: "I can confirm I had Bowel cancer four years ago so far I have been checked each year in some way now I’m up for my last colon check then clear. Had a poo test that was clear too."

Merlin was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2021 and has since had a tumour and part of his colon removed.

At the beginning of the year, Merlin shared a health update to fans on his Instagram as he was discharged from hospital.

He told fans: "Phew. Getting discharged from hospital today.

"It's been a tough and fraught week. Recovery will not be fast, but I'll get there. And I've got much better TP at home! Thank you @nhsuhcw, exemplary as always."

The star has also been vocal about his experience of "living with cancer" as he stresses that just because a tumour is removed doesn't mean "cancer free".

He previously told The Sun: "“That’s an important distinction to make. Just because you have an operation to remove the tumour doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you are cancer free.

"They used to call it remission, now they call it NED, which means no evidence of disease.

"So NED happens after five years for bowel cancer. Now it’s a five year ongoing process before they are willing to say alright, yeah, you’re about as safe as you can be."


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