Jeremy Bowen has gone public with his diagnosis of bowel cancer for the first time – having been tested without having any of the usual symptoms.
The BBC's Middle East Editor, 59, is now receiving treatment after having an operation to remove a tumor in his bowel.
On BBC Breakfast alongside Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK, Jeremy said: "I was diagnosed last October.
"I had funny pains in my legs and my back when I was in Iraq last May, I went to the hospital for a few days but they didn't say it was cancer, they were saying t it was a scar tissue from a previous operation.
"I had no symptoms but I thought I should have a test, it came back positively. I had a colonoscopy, when they put a camera on a stick up your bottom – it's not as bad as it is. They sounded, and they give a lot of drugs – from that they found a tumor. I had an operation to take it away and now I'm going through chemotherapy.
"This is not the thing you choose but I am confident that I am having a very good medical treatment and I will be fine."
Jeremy said that he might have been caught earlier, but if he had been later, the cancer would have been much more serious.
"The key thing is to have a test, I've told all my friends to come to their doctors for a test. Bowels and dirt aren't normal things people want to talk about, but in reality we are part of Our lives don't feel embarrassing and you leave it too long – a gastroenterologist saw me this morning to say, 'tell them they don't die of embarrassment,' in order to god.
On his decision to go public at the start of Bowel Cancer Awareness Week, Jeremy went on: "I've kept quiet about it except for my closest friends and my friends, but I was I think why not? And if I come on your program means a few extra people decide to be tested and as a result are cancers being caught, then there are It's a good time.
Actually, if there is something with your place, it's much better to know. There is a great treatment there. It's more encouraging to know that something is being treated than thinking, I'll wait until next week. Don't wait until next week! "
He added: "The chemo is not nearly as bad as I thought it would, in terms of the side effects. I think it can affect people differently and I've been very lucky to & # 39 I have to keep positive about things in life, it is part of the journey.
BBC Jeremy colleague George Alagiah also fought bowel cancer in 2014, returning to the News At Six in January after more than a year away for treatment.
He said his disease was now in a "catch pattern" after several painful rounds of chemotherapy and three major operations, including the removal of most of his liver after stage 4 cancer spread to his organ and t Lymph nodes.
What are the symptoms of bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the UK, although most people over the age of 60, the NHS says.
Symptoms can be subtle and do not necessarily make someone feel ill.
The three main symptoms are: t
- Persistent blood in sewage – without obvious reason or with a change in bowel habits
- Constant change in bowel habits – getting more frequent with loose sewage
- Persistent pain, pain or discomfort in the abdomen (constant) – always caused by eating and may be associated with loss of appetite or significant unintentional weight loss t
Find out more about symptoms, screening and treatment.