‘Ed Byrne joke saved my life’: woman thanks Irish comedian for joke which led to early bowel cancer diagnosis

Jackie Kaines Lang from Northumberland said the joke “triggered” her to go and see her doctor

A woman who has survived bowel cancer has said that a joke she heard at an Ed Byrne show convinced her she needed a medical examination.. Jackie Kaines Lang watched the comedian at a stand-up show in Berwick.

Jackie told ITV that Byrne’s joke about a long spell of diarrhoea prompted her to make an appointment with her doctor. She was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in October 2015 and is thankful for the joke which made her visit her doctor.

Jackie said that she’d had symptoms since 2014, but had put down the blood in her poo to Irritable Bowel Syndrome which she had suffered in the past. It was the Irish comedian’s joke which led to her having a check-up.

She said: "He made an aside about going to see a GP and that triggered me. I thought actually I have had diarrhoea and it has been going on for a long time so the next day I called my GP."

Now part of an NHS campaign encouraging people to go to the doctor’s, Jackie added: "If symptoms are caught early then it’s very treatable. I’m really keen that other people get to know about it.

Ed Byrne attends Absolute Radio Live at the Palladium Theatre on November 27, 2022

"I don’t want to frighten people but I do want to remind them that they do know the most about their bodies. You have to know your body and know what’s normal. If that normal changes for more than three weeks then that’s important."